New research at EVMS shows that lower dose hormone replacement therapy is as effective as standard dose

June 03, 2001

NORFOLK, VA- Research at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) has found that a lower dose of estrogen-progestin combination is effective and safe, while minimizing the bleeding side effect hormone replacement therapy causes in some post-menopausal women.

David F. Archer, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at EVMS' Jones Institute of Reproductive Medicine, was among a group of researchers in various parts of the United States who conducted the five-year study, which involved about 2,700 women and was funded by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.

The Women's Health, Osteoporosis, Progestin, Estrogen Study, known as Women's HOPE Study, was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The overall study took five years to complete.

"Bleeding is the major reason women stop taking hormone replacement therapy," said Archer, who directs the Clinical Research Center for the EVMS department of obstetrics and gynecology. Archer is the lead author of an article on the bleeding aspect of the research, scheduled for publication this month in the journal Fertility and Sterility. Articles by other researchers involved in the trials will deal with additional aspects of reducing the dosage of hormone therapy, such as the treatment of vasomotor symptoms.

"Once approved by the FDA, this product will allow physicians flexibility in prescribing dosages of HRT. That's the biggest advantage to women. You can start a newly menopausal woman on the low dose, and if you can't control all her symptoms, you can go up to the standard dose." Archer said.

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