Premarin® stands for Pregnant Mares' Urine (PREgnant MARes' urINe); PMU for short (we spell it both ways, with an "e", PREgnant MARes' urINE which is the older name used in Canada, and without -- which is the more popular recent spelling, and the one that is a U.S. registered trademark).
Premarin (including Prempro, Premphase, Prempac, Premelle, Aprella & Duavee) is a drug made up of conjugated estrogens obtained from the urine of pregnant mares -- put out in many forms (pills, creams, injections, patches, vaginal rings) and is used to reduce the symptoms of menopause in women or women who have had a hysterectomy.
Premarin is also prescribed to nearly eliminate the risk of osteoporosis (the brittling of bones) and reduce the chance of heart disease in women over 50. The Women's Health Initiative, which was stopped earlier than planned, provided results showing that the Premarin 'family of drugs' caused MAJOR side effects: heart attack, cancer, blood clots, and strokes. This website is to be an educational and informative medium to educate women and show them that there are many healthy alternatives available.
Risks Involved, Alternatives Available
If you are taking conventional hormone replacement therapy, which refers to counterfeit hormone drugs, such as Premarin, then you need to be informed of the negative effects it can have on your health.
Premarin increases the chance of getting cancer of the uterus.
Do not use Premarin to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, or dementia.
Using Premarin may increase your chance of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and blood clots.
Using Premarin may increase your chance of getting dementia, based on a study of women age 65 years or older.
Please consult with your doctor before you use these for the relief of menopausal symptoms.
Probably the simplest and most natural approach to the treatment of menopause is to adopt a healthy lifestyle in regard to diet, exercise and stress management. Not only will this help alleviate symptoms but the benefits will also ensure that you remain healthy now and in the future.
It should go without saying, avoid refined and processed foods, choose more whole foods, fresh fruit, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. Avoid high fat dairy products and meats and supplement these items with healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds and lean cuts of meat or fish. Additionally, practice portion control and avoid empty calorie foods.
Exercise: Exercise is vital to keeping symptoms in check. Exercise directly affects hormonal activities in the body by raising the level of endorphins, for example, to maintain emotional stability and suppress anxiety. Moreover, the benefits are unsurpassed: maintenance of muscle and joint strength, increased metabolism, reduced weight, improved cardiovascular health, increased cognitive function, maintenance of bone integrity, and the list goes on.
It is a well known fact that stress induces more severe hot flashes. There are many stress-reduction techniques available to manage the burden of everyday anxiety – rest, relaxation, varied leisure activities, and most importantly self-affirming thoughts to maintain self-image and confidence.
Bio-identical hormones are synthesized in the lab from plant sources and as the term implies are pharmaceuticals that closely mimic natural hormones produced in the body since they possess the same molecular structure. There are many indications that bio-identical hormones pose far less risk for the human species than conventional therapies such as Premarin.
Dietary phytoestrogens are naturally occurring substances (e.g. Isoflavins) found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as soybeans, alfalfa sprouts, and oilseeds (such as flaxseed). There is some evidence that they have a weak estrogen-like effect that may reduce the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. Eating natural foods that contain these compounds is safe but there are also non-prescription supplements on the market for which there is no long-term safety data.
Estriol: Can be used to treat hot flashes and other symptoms and helps in maintaining bone density. However, two studies have recently shown that estriol causes stimulation endometrial cells.
Natural Progesterone: There is some evidence that natural progesterone is useful in the treatment of hot flashes but no evidence that it benefits bone density. Examples include: topical progesterone creams and oral progestins.
(DHEA) is an estrogen precursor meaning it is converted to estrogen and possibly some testosterone in the body. This may or may not increase levels of estrogen in the body naturally.
There is also convincing evidence that some prescription drugs such as SSRIs, SNRIs, Gabapentin and Clonadine, which are not licensed for treating menopausal symptoms do in fact alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. These are powerful drugs yet in severe cases some doctors may be willing to prescribe one of these treatments, with the patient’s consent.
Herbal medicines are readily available however caution is advised since they can contain powerful ingredients that may contraindicate other prescription drugs and/or may have adverse effects on certain individuals. Some examples include: Black Cohosh for hot flashes and sweating, Kava to reduce anxiety, Ginko to decrease the risk of onset of dementia and St. John’s Wort as an anti-depressant. No substantiated medical studies are available for these medicines and most do not have to comply with the stringent safety, quality and manufacturing regulations that govern conventional medicines.
Consult Your Doctor:
In any case, it is important to separate fact from fiction and be astutely aware of the consequences of clinically unproven medications. Apart from the unmistakable benefits of lifestyle changes, before considering any of the alternatives listed please consult your doctor.