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Articles and related links about the time before menopause when hormones can become unbalanced. This forum is open to the public.
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TOPIC: Depressing Half-Truths about Menopause & SSRI's & Ho

Depressing Half-Truths about Menopause & SSRI's & Ho 10 Oct 2007 13:10 #739

  • Debra
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I receive Dr. Swartz's newsletter via e-mail occassionally and the last two recently sent make total sense to me, so here they are:

Tuesday October 9, 2007


Depressing Half-Truths About Menopause

"The antidepressant has emerged as the drug of choice among women searching for new ways to cool the hot flash."

That's the alarming word from New York Times health writer Tara Parker Pope as she continues her campaign to help Wyeth win FDA approval for its serotonin-enhancing drug Pristiq, to be specifically marketed for the treatment of hot flashes.

The FDA already rejected Wyeth's first attempt this summer to get the drug approved, saying it needed more data.

But that hasn't stopped Parker Pope from pushing the disgusting notion of treating menopausal women with antidepressants, even though a recent study showed that only one-third of women who used them reported fewer hot flashes.

Her reasoning, if you can call it that, is that antidepressants may be the only alternative to what she calls "menopause hormones," presumably Premarin and Prempro - also made by Wyeth.

So, here's the choice according to the New York Times: You either:
  • Take Wyeth's menopause hormones which have been proven to raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cancer or,
  • Wait for Wyeth's Pristiq which, as previous studies indicate, will be ineffective in two-thirds of women and may have other serious side effects.
At no point, does the article suggest there may be other FDA approved options available to women suffering with menopausal symptoms.

In my 35 years as practicing physician who truly cares for her patients I have never encountered a woman who had an antidepressant deficiency. Antidepressants are not solutions. They have been proven over and over again to be ineffective bandaids by women who use them and by scientific articles that are not sponsored by their manufacturers. Personally, I have cared for hundreds of women in my practice with horrendous side-effects from antidepressants and necessitated much time and effort to get them off the drugs.

Menopausal women suffer with symptoms of menopause as a direct consequence of their loss of hormones. The method used to replace or supplement the missing hormones determines the outcome.

Over the past 25 years hundreds of scientific studies reported in conventional medical journals have demonstrated that bioidentical hormones are safe and efficacious and address the core reason for the hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood disturbances, loss of libido, weight gain and other symptoms plaguing women in menopause. These studies have also demonstrated efficacy and safety in the effects of bioidentical hormones on the heart, blood vessels, brain and other organs.

Why are we still in the dark ages when it comes to the bioidentical options for treatment of menopausal women's issues? Why are the doctors and women being kept in ignorance and given misinformation?

Why is the NewYork Times giving us only the big pharma side of the story?

The New York Times should tell the truth by providing a balanced and honest picture of options to help women make choices that will empower instead of victimize them. It's high time they do.

 What You Don't Know Can Kill You

A new report says two-thirds of women, ages 40 to 60, still don't know about the Women's Health Initiative study that confirmed the dangers of synthetic hormone replacement therapy consisting of Premarin and Prempro.

Even though the results of the study came out five years ago, many women - and their doctors - remain clueless about the non-identical hormone therapy's deadly side effects like strokes, heart attacks and cancer.

The most recent report comes from the North American Menopause Society, an organization that bears a lion's share of the guilt for this enormous gap in knowledge and education.
NAMS whose mission is to educate doctors and women on menopause has failed to provide a balanced view of hormone therapeutic options available to women and their physicians.
Instead it uses its clout to keep us all in the dark due to its widely known ties to the manufacturer of the beleaguered Premarin and Prempro by:
1: Publicizing the fact that women don't know about the WHI study. ("See, we're reporting on this sad state of affairs, so don't blame us if you don't know what's going on.").
2: Supporting Wyeth's response of marketing low-dose Premarin ("You may think the full-strength stuff is risky, but this won't hurt you as much.")
3. Keeping women and doctors in the dark about the difference between bioidentical hormones and Premarin and Prempro, the mountains of scientific evidence that prove the existence of safer alternatives and the truth about the importance of well balanced hormones in our wellbeing.
4. Blaming the media for being alarmist when in fact all they do is manipulate the media's ignorance on the subject.
On its website, NAMS describes itself as "the leading nonprofit scientific organization devoted to promoting women's health and quality of life through an understanding of menopause."

If NAMS took that role seriously it would already have educated women about the fact that our own human hormones when in balance keep us young and healthy, that when we need hormones, it is the type of hormone replacement therapy used that defines the outcome and that the only non-identical hormone therapies are Premarin, Provera and Prempro. The dangers of Premarin and Provera have been known and documented in hundreds of scientific studies in the quarter century before the WHI was even started in 1994.

Why are we wasting millions of dollars studying and reinterpreting treatments that we already proved are dangerous and ineffective? Why not spend that money researching and educating both doctors and women on safer alternatives?

The 40 million women who are currently in menopause need to be told the truth and given access to impartial information and education to help them make the treatment choices that are right for them.

They can't do it if the media and other historically trusted sources are being manipulated by groups whose primary interest is selling products, no matter how discredited, at the expense of women's health and wellbeing.
NAMS should look in the mirror and remember its mission to help rather than harm.


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