Understanding Osteoporosis Medications (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Estrogen Therapy for Osteoporosis
Estrogen is available in oral tablets or capsules or as a transdermal (skin) patch. Estrogen is used as part of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause. Following a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), estrogen alone is used. For women with a uterus, progestin is added to estrogen to decrease the risk of endometrial (the inside lining of the uterus) cancer. Women with a personal or family history of breast cancer should not take estrogens.
Other effective preventive and treatment options for osteoporosis exist, and more are being developed to avoid increasing hormone-related risks. The duration of HRT therapy women take following menopause is currently being questioned because of the increased risk of cancer, stroke, and heart attack. Examples of oral estrogens include conjugated estrogen (Premarin) and estradiol (Estrace). Examples of oral combination products of estrogen with progestin include Premphase, Prempro, Activella, and Ortho-Prefest. Examples of skin patches include estradiol (Alora, Climara, Esclim, Estraderm, Vivelle) and combination patches containing estradiol and progestin (Climara Pro, CombiPatch).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/11/2016
Mary L Windle, PharmD
Kristine M Lohr, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Lee P Shulman, MD
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