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Articles on HRT & Synthetic Hormones

What's Going on with Synthetic HRT?

On November 23, 2009 two juries awarded verdicts totaling $113 million in favor of two women who got breast cancer by taking Premarin and/or Prempro, HRT drugs known to cause cancer, strokes and heart attacks since 2002.

There are more than 10,000 cases awaiting trials in a major class action suit from women who took Premarin and Prempro who are believed to have gotten breast cancer from the use of these drugs. Here are some facts about HRT:

  • In 1965, Dr. Wilson published the book “Feminine Forever”, paid for in its entirety with money from Wyeth-Ayerst (the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Premarin and Prempro). The book basically told women that without the use of synthetic HRT, they would turn into dried up old women. Frightened women believed him. Doctors began to write millions of synthetic HRT prescriptions.

  • In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative, a study conducted (by a coalition of National Institutes of Health, Wyeth and dozens of Medical Centers) on more than 16,000 women proved that the leading menopause hormone treatment, Premarin and Prempro were highly dangerous drugs. They increased the risk of breast cancer, heart attack and strokes significantly as compared to placebo or women who did not take the synthetics.

  • Today in 2009, these same drugs are still on the market and being prescribed by countless physicians.

  • Premarin and Prempro made 2 billion dollars for their manufacturers in 2002. They now make 500 million. The Big Pharmaceutical marketing campaign to doctors is increasing. There is little discussion of bio-identical hormones as safe and effective alternatives to Premarin and Prempro.

  • When the WHI report was released, millions of women were taken off Premarin and Prempro by their physicians and told they should not use HRT due to the risk of cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

  • After being taken off synthetic HRT millions of women started experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive, and concentration problems. Millions were then given antidepressants by their conventional physicians for these symptoms.

  • By 2004, NAMS (North American Menopause Society) and ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology), medical groups that provide guidelines for treatments of women in menopause for conventional physicians, told women they could take Premarin and Prempro but only in lower doses for a short period of time. No study has been conducted to prove that these new guidelines are safe.

  • Bio-identical hormones were not studied in Women’s Health Initiative even though they were on the market at least 20 years before the arrival of Premarin and Prempro. Bio-identical estrogen and progesterone have been used since 1930s and 1940s to treat menopausal symptoms. There have been no negative reported side-effects.

  • In 2007 Suzanne Somers published the book Slim and Sexy Forever in which she discussed bio-identical hormones and how they positively changed her life. In response, the president of NAMS, Wolf Utian, stated on national TV that bioidentical hormones did not really exist but were simply a “marketing term”, further confusing both women and physicians.

  • In papers published in Postgraduate Medicine, Medical Clinics, Life Extension Foundation and other highly respected medical publications hundreds of studies over the course of more than 40 years have reported the safety and efficacy of bio-identical hormones over Premarin and Prempro.

  • Women are now becoming and no longer allowing doctors who are poorly informed to press them into either taking synthetic HRT or antidepressants. The class action suit against Premarin/Prempro continues.

December 2009