From the Journals

A combination hormone capsule for vasomotor symptoms


Key clinical point: A 17-beta-estradiol–progesterone capsule significantly decreased the frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms.

Major finding: The compound reduced vasomotor symptoms, with no cases of endometrial hyperplasia.

Study details: The study randomized 1,845 women to placebo or one of four active hormone doses.

Disclosures: TherapeuticsMD sponsored the study; Dr. Lobo is a consultant for the company.

Source: Lobo RA et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jan;132:161-70.



A capsule containing a combination of 17-beta-estradiol and progesterone significantly improved vasomotor symptoms in menopausal women without causing a single case of endometrial hyperplasia.

The results of the 12-week REPLENISH study suggested that this preparation effectively treats vasomotor symptoms and could be a safe alternative to the popular, but unstudied, compounded bioidentical hormones that millions of women turned to after the Women’s Health Initiative study cast doubt on the safety of hormone therapy, Rogerio A. Lobo, MD, and his colleagues wrote in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“17-beta-estradiol–progesterone may represent a new option, using natural hormones, for postmenopausal women, including the estimated millions currently using inadequately studied, non–FDA approved, compounded [hormone therapy],” wrote Dr. Lobo of Columbia University, New York.

REPLENISH randomized 1,845 postmenopausal women (mean age 55 years) to placebo or one of four active, daily, oral estradiol-progesterone doses (1 mg/100 mg, 0.5 mg/100 mg, 0.5 mg/50 mg, or 0.25 mg/50 mg). The primary safety outcome was endometrial hyperplasia. There were two primary efficacy endpoints: mean changes in frequency and severity of moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms from baseline at weeks 4 and 12.

There were no cases of endometrial hyperplasia with any estradiol-progesterone dose, nor were there any endometrial cancers. The rates of endometrial proliferation and endometrial polyps were low (about 3% each).

The frequency of vasomotor symptoms decreased significantly, compared with placebo, in all active groups. The severity of vasomotor symptoms also decreased significantly and in a dose-dependent manner. Onset of action was similarly dose-dependent, with the 1 mg/100 mg group experiencing a clinically meaningful benefit by week 3 and the 0.5 mg/50 mg group by week 6.

Adverse events were mild-moderate and included breast tenderness, headache, nausea, pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, and vaginal discharge. Serious adverse events included acute pancreatitis, deep vein thrombosis (in a woman with prior left femoral popliteal bypass surgery and a family history of deep vein thrombosis), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, infective cholecystitis, and breast cancer.

TherapeuticsMD sponsored the study; Dr. Lobo has received research grants from TherapeuticsMD and has served as a consultant for the company and several others. Some coauthors report additional research support from and consulting with TherapeuticsMD and other companies, and three coauthors are stock-holding employees of TherapeuticsMD.

SOURCE: Lobo RA et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jan;132(1):161-70.

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