Menopause Drug Treatments

Before we discuss menopause drug treatments, let's briefly review what menopause and perimenopause is……………

Menopause is the time when the release of eggs by a woman's ovaries ends, menstruation ceases, indicating the end of fertility. Generally, this process is gradual, but sometimes it happens all at once.

Perimenopause is the time when a women's body begins its transition into menopause. During this time hormonal levels such as estrogen and progesterone begin to fluctuate and these fluctuations can cause a variety of symptoms. For most people, this takes place between ages 35 and 55. It is also the time when women seek help on menopause drug treatments and alternative therapies.

The following are the common symptoms of perimenopause. Some women suffer from a few symptoms if any, while others may suffer from some or even all of them.

  • Anxiety
  • Dry Skin
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating feelings
  • Headaches
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Hot Flashes
  • Insomnia or restless sleep
  • Breast Pain
  • Vaginal dryness or itching
  • Urinary dysfunction such as incontinence or increased frequency
  • Irritability
  • Decrease interest in sex
  • Loss of concentration – memory impairment - fuzzy thinking
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Lack of motivation
  • Weight gain
  • Menstrual cycle changes – (irregular or skipped periods)
  • Joint and muscle aches and pains

    Menopause Drug Treatments

    Menopause drug treatments include:

    Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) – The most common form of estrogen prescribed in the United States is conjugated estrogen. It is sold under the brand name of Premarin, which is derived from the urine of pregnant mares. The term estrogen replacement therapy, or ERT, refers to estrogen administered alone. Estrogen alone is typically and option for women who have had their uterus removed during a hysterectomy. (See below for benefits, risks, and side effects).

    Estrogen plus Progestin – Progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone made from natural sources. Estrogen plus progestin is typically suggested for women who still have their uterus. (See below for benefits, risks, and side effects).

    Low dose antidepressants- Certain antidepressant drugs is used at low dosages to help decrease hot flashes. These include Venlafaxine (Effexor), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), paroxetine (Paxil, others), citalpram (Celexa) and sertraline (Zoloft). These medications may cause side effects including nausea, dizziness or sexual dysfunction.

    Gabapentin (Neurontin) - Gabapentin is a drug used to treat seizures, but it also has been shown to reduce hot flashes. Side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and swelling.

    Clonidine (Catapres, others)- Clonidine may help reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth and constipation.

    Bisphosphonates - Bisphosphonates are non-hormonal medications such as alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), used to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Side effects may include nausea, abdominal pain, and irritation of the esophagus.

    Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) – Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are a group of estrogen-like drugs that function like estrogen in some parts of the body. Currently, raloxifene is being used and like estrogen, raloxifene helps prevent bone density from decreasing in postmenopausal women. However, a common side effect is hot flashes.

    Vaginal estrogen - Vaginal estrogen is used to relieve vaginal dryness.

    If you are considering any of the aforementioned menopause drug treatments you should carefully discuss all your options, including side effects and precautions with your physician.

    Side Effects

    Hormone Replacement Therapy Menopause Drug Treatments (HRT)

    Hormone Replacement Therapy Benefits, Risks, and Side Effects (HRT)

    Over the past several years hormone replacement therapy (Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) and Estrogen plus Progestin) has become a hot and very controversial topic. Indeed, there are benefits to hormone therapy, which include the following:

  • Reduce hot flashes
  • Treat vaginal dryness
  • Slow bone loss
  • Decrease mood swings and depression

    However, recent research indicates that hormone replacement therapy also have huge risks such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Breast cancer
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Endometrial cancer or cancer of the lining of the uterus. In woman with a uterus, taking estrogen alone, without progesterone increases the risk of endometrial cancer. Adding progesterone to the hormone therapy reduces this risk.

    Moreover, hormone therapy also may cause these unpleasant side effects:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement
  • Headaches
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea

    Who should not use menopause drug treatment hormone therapy (HT)?

    You should not take hormone therapy if you have the following:

  • Suspect that you are pregnant
  • Have a history of breast or uterine cancer
  • Have unexplained uterine bleeding
  • Have had blood clots
  • Have liver disease
  • Have a history of a heart attack or stroke

    Since these findings, meaning the huge risks involved in these conventional menopause drug treatments (HRT), it is recommended that hormone replacement therapy drugs be taken for only a short time and in the smallest amount. Talk to your physician about the risks versus the benefits.

    Natural Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

    Beyond menopause drug treatments …………

    Nowadays, many women are turning to natural alternatives to help find relief from their menopause symptoms. Listed below are some very well-renowned herbs noted to help combat the symptoms of menopause.

    Black Cohosh - also called squawroot, black cohosh was originally used by the American Indians to treat primarily gynecological problems. Today, black cohosh continues its folk use as it is prized for its compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen. It is used to fight PMS symptoms, menstrual cramps, and hot flashes. Moreover, it is a very popular alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

    Chaste berry, also known as vitex, is an herb that is highly valued for its ability to regulate female hormones involved in the menstrual cycle. Chaste berry is also commonly used to help fight menopausal and PMS symptoms.

    Wild Yam - a perennial vine native to the eastern United States, wild yam is valued by modern herbalists for its estrogen-like effects. As such, wild yam is used to relieve menstrual cramps, PMS symptoms, postmenopausal vaginal dryness and other menopausal symptoms. Wild yam is another popular herb used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

    Dong Quai - is a small perennial herb that has a reputation as a very valuable remedy for fighting hot flashes, vaginal dryness, PMS, menstrual cramps, and menstrual irregularities.

    Red Clover harbors rich compounds known as phytoestrogens, which mimic the effects of estrogen and, as such, it is used to combat hot flashes, night sweats, and other menopausal symptoms.

    Soy Isoflavones is often used as supplement as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It harbors powerful phytoestrogen compounds that help fight menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes. Moreover, it also appears to protect against heart disease, and stave off certain cancers and osteoporosis.

    Comprehensive Formula for Menopause

    An alternative to conventional menopause drug hormone replacement therapy....

    If you are looking for a high quality natural product to help combat menopause symptoms, we highly recommend Total Balance for Women from Xtend-Life Natural Products.

    More specifically, Total Balance for Women is a highly sophisticated all-in-one supplement, containing a broad spectrum of over 75 active ingredients including vitamins, minerals, potent antioxidants, amino acids, specialty nutrients, herbal extracts, and enzymes that the body needs for optimium 'whole' body health.

    In addition, this comprehensive women's product contains Chaste Berry, Feverfew, Wild Yam, Dong Quai, Red Clover, and Soy Isoflavones that may help naturally and safely balance female hormones.

    All of the ingredients are scientifically combined in a synergistic way to enhance and maximize the efficacy of each other. It is formulated by a highly credentialed scientific team that can blend these ingredients perfectly to ensure maximum benefits, but as importantly that do not interact adversely.

    The company also uses only standardized herbal extracts, the purest herbal extracts with the highest quality and therapeutic benefits, and they adhere to strict GMP compliance, which is the toughest in the industry. Plus, Total Balance for Women is enteric coated to protect all ingredients against stomach acids and to ensure maximum bio-availability.

    Personally, I have been taking Total Balance for Women for several years now so I can personally attest to its excellent results such as no more hot flashes, better sleep, and significantly more energy, vitality, and an improved sense of well being -- just to name a few.

    We hope this webpage discussing menopause drug treatments was useful to you.

    To Your Health

    The Editors

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