Hormone Therapy Remains an Important Option for Women Seeking Relief of
COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., March 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Observational follow-up data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) provide little new insight into the appropriate use of hormone therapy when it is prescribed to symptomatic, newly menopausal women. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE), believes that hormone therapy, when used appropriately, remains a good health care choice to relieve moderate to severe menopausal symptoms for millions of women seeking treatment.
"Health care professionals and women should be cautious about drawing generalized conclusions with regard to the benefits and risks of hormone therapy based upon an observational follow-up of the WHI. The WHI was conducted in older women and was designed to assess the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for the prevention of heart disease," says Gary L. Stiles, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.
The women who participated in the WHI study were predominantly non-symptomatic and were on average 63 years of age, which is more than a decade past the average onset of menopause. In recent years, reanalysis of WHI findings has repeatedly shown that the risks associated with hormone therapy use in this older study population were not consistently shared across all outcomes by the younger subset of women who are more representative of a newly menopausal, hormone therapy user.
"Selectively releasing information contained in the WHI database, without providing the full context of the data assessed, is not in the best interest of menopausal women and their health care professionals and may needlessly cause confusion," says Stiles.
Clinical guidance as outlined in product labeling and patient information for hormone therapy recommends use at the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of time.
Wyeth continues to support the appropriate use of hormone therapy and encourages women experiencing menopausal symptoms to speak with a health care professional to determine whether it might be the right treatment option for them.
Hormone therapy is not right for all women, and it does not prevent heart disease or dementia. Hormone therapy may increase a woman's chance of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer or blood clots and should be taken at the lowest effective dose for the shortest time based on her goals and risks. If a woman has a uterus, estrogens increase the risk of uterine cancer. Adding a progestin greatly reduces this risk. Women should re-evaluate the use of estrogens and progestins with their health care professional. If a woman is not having symptoms, non-estrogen treatments should be considered before starting therapy to prevent bone loss.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth, has leading products in the areas of women's health care, infectious disease, gastrointestinal health, central nervous system, inflammation, transplantation, hemophilia, oncology, vaccines and nutritional products.
Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The Company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.
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|SOURCE Wyeth Pharmaceuticals|
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