Drospirenone and estradiol: a new option for the postmenopausal woman

D F Archer
Climacteric: the Journal of the International Menopause Society 2007, 10: 3-10
The efficacy of estrogen with or without a progestogen as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms is well-established. Recent large-scale randomized studies with combined estrogen/progestogen therapy (EPT) have raised a number of safety issues, specifically the potential risk for coronary heart disease. Subsequent analyses and other studies have indicated that HRT may be cardioprotective in younger postmenopausal women. A new continuous EPT combines natural 17beta-estradiol (E2) 1 mg with the novel progestin, drospirenone (DRSP) either 0.5 or 2 mg. DRSP has a physiological profile closer to that of natural progesterone than any other synthetic progestin. This paper reviews recent clinical trial data demonstrating the efficacy and safety of combined DRSP/E2 therapy as EPT in postmenopausal women. DRSP/E2 provides symptomatic relief of vasomotor symptoms and improvement in genitourinary atrophy. DRSP/E2 protects against endometrial hyperplasia and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Combined DRSP/E2 therapy has a favorable impact on cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and decreases blood pressure in women with elevated blood pressure. The favorable efficacy and safety profile of DRSP/E2, and potential for long-term health benefits, represents a new option for the effective management of menopause and its clinical sequelae.

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