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Some people may consider compounded medications (medications created by a pharmacist to perfectly affect one individual’s biochemistry in a specified way) to belong in the realm of intravenous and parenteral medications, but when it comes to something as complex as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), your doctor should prescribe a cocktail of hormones that will work in harmony with your body’s particular chemical needs.

This is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Attempting hormone replacement without a tailored prescription can have uncomfortable and even disastrous consequences. Studies have shown (particularly one recent Danish study) that starting an individualized HRT program earlier, just after the completion of menopause, can significantly reduce the risk of mortality, heart failure, or heart attack without any apparent increase in risk of cancer or stroke. However, certain types of HRT, when prescribed later, years after the completion of menopause, have had negative side effects.

Proprietary mixtures of progestins and conjugated equine estrogens are a commonly prescribed form of HRT, but as women move toward and through menopause, small deviations from a perfect prescription can wreak havoc on emotions, aggravating common symptoms of menopause, such as:

Hot flashes
Vaginal dryness
Night sweats
Painful intercourse
Increased anxiety
Frequent urination
Mood swings

Working with a Compounding Pharmacist is also essential in order to ensure that your drug-delivery method is the safest and most efficient method for your body. Forms of drug delivery include suppositories, subdermal implants, skin patches, and gels. There are many factors to consider when choosing one of these methods, including effect range, dosage size, comparative side effects, and constant versus cyclical serum hormone levels. However, working with your doctor and a compounding pharmacist is the only way to ensure that the hormone-disbursement method being used in your HRT regimen is the optimal choice for your body.

Women who experience moderate to severe hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms, have lost bone mass and either can’t tolerate or aren’t benefitting from other treatments, stopped having periods before age 40 (premature menopause), or lost normal function of their ovaries before age 40 (premature ovarian insufficiency) are recommended to speak with their doctors about HRT. Women who experience an early menopause, particularly those who had their ovaries removed and didn’t take estrogen therapy until at least age 45, have a higher risk of serious diseases such as osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, dementia, anxiety, and depression, but HRT can mitigate these consequences and help women lead longer, healthier lives.

We all know the risks of HRT, but when approached carefully and specifically through the cooperation of a doctor and a compounding pharmacist, the right hormones can be prescribed to ensure that your HRT works with, not against, your body’s chemistry.  If you believe you might be in need of hormone replacement therapy, be sure to consult your physician.  Only he or she can prescribe a hormone replacement therapy for you.

Conveniently located in Irvine’s Woodbridge Village Shopping Center, Irvine Compounding Pharmacy is the main compounding pharmacy center serving Orange County. If you would like to talk to one of our licensed pharmacists about your hormone replacement therapy prescriptions, call us at 949-528-6888.