As treatment options for menopause continue to expand, many women are looking for ways to remain compliant with the use of their hormone therapy medication(s). It is important to remain compliant to treat menopause, as one study published in the 2016 Journal of Women’s Health, “indicate[s] that women who are older, use a progestin, experience hormone replacement therapy side effects, or see a gynecologist or male physician are more likely to be noncompliant. Women who have cardiovascular problems, experience menopausal symptoms, or use transdermal estrogen are more likely to be compliant…The factors associated with noncompliance are hormone side effects and gender and specialty of the physician prescribing the estrogen.”
One of the benefits of pharmacy compounding is that the hormones prescribed by a physician can be customized to each patient’s needs. Personalized medication is key in helping control the symptoms as well as reducing the chance of side effects. A reduction in side effects can then lead to increased compliance!
While the researchers noted that transdermal medications increase the chance of compliance, not all women prefer topical therapy. Many women simply forget to apply the medication or may not feel comfortable applying a cream topically because it can sometimes cause irritation to the skin. Women are also concerned about the lack of absorption, which can increase the chance of transferring hormones to someone else through skin-to-skin contact.
If topical hormones are not ideal for a patient for any reason, an estrogen and/or testosterone injection can be used as a potential alternative. These injections are designed to be injected from once per week to once per month. The dosing schedule varies with each patient, depending on the types and severity of menopausal symptoms, as well as the overall weight of the patient. The benefit of injectable hormone formulations is the lower administration of the drug (as few as 1 injection per month); these hormones also have a depo effect, meaning that the hormones are slowly administered into the body over a period of time.
If you have been on topical hormone therapy and need dosing alternatives, send us an email to schedule a time for a quick consultation with one of our clinical pharmacists. We’ll be happy to walk through treatment options tailored to your specific needs!
RAYANNE S. BERMAN, ROBERT S. EPSTEIN, and EVA LYDICK.Journal of Women's Health.Apr 1997. http://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.1997.6.219 Volume: 6 Issue 2: April 25, 2009