Efficacy and tolerability of continuous combined hormone replacement therapy in early postmenopausal women

Mattsson, L. A.; Skouby, S.; Rees, M.; Heikkinen, J.; Kudela, M.; Stadnicki-Kolendo, A.; Mattila, L.; Salminen, K.; Vuorela, A.; Mustonen, M.
September 2007
Menopause International;Sep2007, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p124
Academic Journal
Objective. Continuous combined hormone replacement therapy (ccHRT) based on estradiol valerate (E2V) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) is effective for relief of menopausal symptoms three years or more after the menopause. This study was undertaken to examine the efficacy and tolerability of ccHRT in early postmenopausal women (last menstrual period 1-3 years before study entry). Study design. This was a 52-week, randomized, double-blind, multinational study of ccHRT comprising three different dose combinations of E2V/MPA in 459 early postmenopausal non-hysterectomized women experiencing 30 or more moderate to severe hot flushes a week and/or vasomotor symptoms requiring treatment. Main outcomes measures. The primary endpoint was change in frequency and severity of moderate to severe hot flushes at 12 weeks. Secondary outcome measures included number of bleeding days and evaluation of tolerability. Results. The frequency of hot flushes was reduced by ≥ 70% after one month (P < 0.001 for all doses at week 2 onwards), with little evidence of statistically different dose effects. Severity of flushing was also attenuated by ccHRT. Mean number of bleeding days fell to < 1 per 28-day cycle at 52 weeks. Rates of amenorrhoea approached 80-90% at the end of the study, but were significantly lower at several time points with the highest-dose regimen (2 mg E2V + 5 mg MPA) than with the lower-dose options (1 mg E2V + 2.5 mg MPA and 1 mg E2V + 5 mg MPA; P < 0.05). Adverse events declined in frequency over time with all regimens but throughout the study were more numerous with the highest-dose regimen than with lower doses (P = 0.0002). Conclusions. Continuous combined HRT was effective for the relief of climacteric symptoms in early postmenopausal women and was well tolerated.


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