Tags: Expert: | Many | Women | Cannot | Get | Off | Hormones

Expert: Many Women Cannot Get Off Hormones

Wednesday, 12 April 2006 12:00 AM

One woman in four who tries to stop hormone replacement therapy has severe rebound symptoms and most resume HRT, according to an investigator with the Women's Health Initiative study.

At a recent meeting of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Marcia Stefanick, a professor of medicine at Stanford U. warned that a simple estrogen prescriptions to ease hot flashes can start women down the path to chronic hormone replacement.

Dr. Stefanick said that some follow-up studies suggest that "about 26% cannot stop the hormone."

Her advice is to weigh the undeniable benefit of estrogen for treatment of vasomotor symptoms -- "it's the best game in town" -- against the risk of becoming chronically dependant on hormone therapy.

She said that many of the women who are unable to kick the hormone habit actually had mild symptoms before starting HRT. "It is almost as if the hormone exposure somehow sets the woman up for worse symptoms," she said.

If women have severe rebound symptoms, she advised going back on hormones but at a lower dose.

"After the woman is stabilized, try tapering the dose by going to an every other day dosing or by skipping weekends," she said.

If and when women go on HRT to ease menopause symptoms, Dr. Stefanick suggested going on lower doses and trying to come off after a year.

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One woman in four who tries to stop hormone replacement therapy has severe rebound symptoms and most resume HRT, according to an investigator with the Women's Health Initiative study. At a recent meeting of the American College of Physicians,Dr. Marcia Stefanick, a...
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Wednesday, 12 April 2006 12:00 AM
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