When treating menopause and perimenopause it is important that prescribing practitioners have all the information and treatment options available. Bioidentical Hormone Replenishment Therapy (BHRT) can be used to correct hormonal imbalances, such as menopause or perimenopause, and replenish the hormones that deplete as we age. It can be very effective at enhancing quality of life, slowing down ageing and improving wellbeing.
Compounding pharmacies are integral to bioidentical hormone treatment as they produce personalised doses, based on the patients test results, which for some patients can be far more effective than standard hormonal medications available. Compounding is the process of combining, mixing, or altering two or more active pharmaceutical ingredients to create compounded medication that is tailored to the individual. When prescribing compounded BHRT, in many cases a lower dosage than the licenced medication of each hormone is actually needed, and different application methods can be explored, such as transdermally or through the oral mucosa, bypassing some of the unwanted side effects of the traditional oral route.
Research on the benefits of BHRT carried out by the Marion Gluck Clinic, provides clinical evidence that bioidentical hormone replenishment therapy not only improves quality of life but reduces menopause-associated symptoms in women. The full research paper is available here.
The research looked at menopausal patients who were prescribed personalised levels of various bioidentical hormones (for example, estradiol, progesterone and DHEA) according to their individual needs.
The improvement in some of these symptoms was very significant:
– Sweating at night improved in 75% of patients
– Feeling tense and nervous improved in 74% of patients
– Difficulty in sleeping improved in 64% of patients
– Irritability improved in 63% of patients
– Feeling tired and lacking energy improved in 53% of patients
– Loss of interest in sex improved in 47% of patients
Bioidentical hormones are used in bioidentical replenishment therapy (BHRT) and have an identical chemical structure to the naturally occurring hormones produced by the body and are sometimes referred to as body identical hormones. These differ from synthetic hormones often used in standard HRT which have a different chemical structure and are often associated with negative side effects and long-term complications of therapy. Most bioidentical hormones are derived from Mexican wild yam or soy, which then undergoes processing to make the hormones into a powder, which is then compounded into capsules, cream. lozenges etc.
BHRT can also be prescribed for much younger women, even from the early 20’s, with compounded progesterone in very small doses being used to counter low mood, painful periods or skin flare ups. The dosage of progesterone available in standard preparations can be too high for many women which can present unnecessary symptoms and ultimately lead to discontinued use.
BHRT can be compounded in many different applications including cream, lozenge (troche) or sublingual drops, based on the patient’s individual needs. This, coupled with BHRT being prescribed in formulations and strengths outside of standard licenced medication, can provide additional benefits of improving ease of use, compliance and fewer side effects for patients.
For more information about Specialist Pharmacy and BHRT please visit https://specialist-pharmacy.com/