Estrogen Therapy: WHI Initiative in Perspective (cont.)

The upshot:

EPT is still the best therapy for hot flashes, and many women remain good candidates for EPT therapy, despite the WHI study. This is especially true if EPT is limited to the shortest duration possible, optimally less than 5 years. Women shouldn't stop EPT suddenly. They should wean down slowly to avoid having withdrawal symptoms. EPT should not be used to prevent or treat either Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, or stroke. Some alternatives to EPT are available to women who cannot or do not wish to take EPT, although these alternatives don't work as well as EPT to treat hot flashes and are not FDA-approved to treat hot flashes. Women (and men) should always question whether medical research comes from randomized controlled trials (the highest quality research method).

In regard to the use of EPT as osteoporosis prevention, many non-hormonal alternatives exist to treat osteoporosis.

As a final thought, women should speak to their physicians on an individual basis to determine the right treatment plan for them. At least that's something that still hasn't changed.

Last Editorial Review: 7/17/2003