Hormone therapy for the management of menopausal symptoms: pharmacotherapy update.
Nearly 50 million women each year are projected to reach menopause by 2030. Many of these women will experience vasomotor symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes as they enter the menopausal transition. Up until the release of the findings of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) studies, women were frequently prescribed hormone therapy (HT) to alleviate bothersome and sometimes debilitating menopausal symptoms as well as to prevent osteoporosis and coronary heart disease (CHD). Although the WHI studies were the first large, randomized, controlled trials that contradicted what was historically believed about the benefits of HT in postmenopausal women, important limitations including baseline demographics of WHI participants and investigation of only one HT strength/dosage form exist. HT may be a reasonable pharmacotherapy option for the management of menopausal symptoms following complete patient evaluation by experienced clinicians. Updated recommendations addressing management of menopausal symptoms, a new HT product containing the spironolactone-analogue drospirenone (DRSP), and discontinuation methods of HT are also discussed in this review.
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