For the relief of menopause symptoms, Compounded “Bioidentical” Hormone Therapy (cBHT), specifically estrogen and progesterone, have been promoted as safer and more effective alternatives. However, there is little or no scientific evidence to support such claims regarding cBHT.
In addition, the preparation of cBHT formulations is not under the purview of the FDA. It can be inconsistent in purity and dose. Due to unfounded but highly publicized claims, patients have received inaccurate and incomplete information on the relative safety and effectiveness of cBHT preparations.
“Bioidentical” hormones refer to substances that have the exact same chemical and molecular structure as hormones that are created by the human body. There are various FDA-approved hormone preparations that are “bioidentical.”
In fact, any hormone can be made to be “bioidentical.” But the term has been used to describe formulations comprising estrogens, progesterone, and androgens (cBHT) as well.
Administering estrogen and progesterone in females with a uterus is an effective treatment for relief from menopause symptoms. However, they may pose the risk of potentially serious side effects. Women seeking safer treatments commonly request cBHT from their doctors.
Now experts recommend that a symptomatic perimenopausal or post-menopausal female discuss her specific risks and expected benefits of HT with her doctor. In case they decide that HT would be safe and advantageous overall, the doctor could prescribe a regimen and monitor closely.
American Integrative Pharmacy (AIP), led by Dr. Neema Yazdanpanah, provides safe and proven compounding medications to patients in Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and online nationwide.
If the purity and dosage were consistent, then all estrogen/progesterone containing HT (cBHT or FDA-approved ‘bioidentical” preparations), would be associated with the same risks and advantages.
For this reason, irrespective of the structure or source of the hormone administered therapeutically, all HT regimes, even the ones that are so-called “customized,” must be cautiously controlled.
It is quite difficult to achieve hormone customization as blood hormone levels are hard to regulate correctly due to routine physiologic and pharmacokinetic variations and limitations of easily available assay methods.
Regardless, proponents of cBHT content that simple saliva tests can offer the information necessary to individualize hormone doses. These claims are unsupported by scientific data confirming standardization, assay quality control, or clinical correlations.
High Quality Hormone Therapy Preparations
Hormone therapy with structures that are identical to endogenous hormones can be acquired as FDA-approved preparations (transdermal estradiol patches, oral estradiol, sprays, lotions, gels, estradiol vaginal creams, rings, tablets, and micronized oral or vaginal progesterone).
These products are developed with stringent manufacturing standards and dispensed by retail pharmacies. Before approval, the efficacy for treatment of menopause symptoms has been determined in a 12-week placebo-controlled RCT, according to FDA guidelines.
On the other hand, products dispensed from compounding pharmacies may contain combinations of various types of estrogen and/or progesterone with varying strengths.
As the final hormone formulations of a majority of compounding pharmacies are not subject to FDA oversight for purity, safety, dose, or efficacy, patients should only rely on reputable and established compounding pharmacies.
AIP provides advanced compounding solutions, including online prescription refills to patients in Long Beach, Torrance, Los Angeles, South Bay Orange County, Southern California areas, and online nationwide.
American Integrative Pharmacy is located in Lomita, CA serving residents in and around Orange County, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Torrance and surrounding areas. Online prescription sales are available across the US.