Perimenopause Brochure

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As we age, our hormone levels can decline and cause uncomfortable symptoms.  Hormone replacement therapy is one treatment option that patients can choose in consultation with their doctor.  

As a compounding pharmacy, Carr Drugs has over 30 years experience in customizing prescription hormones for the individual patient. We work closely with both the patient and physician to ensure that the dosage and form are best suited to the patient's needs.




What Is Perimenopause?

Perimenopause means "around menopause" and refers to the time period during which a woman's body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility (menopause). Perimenopause is also called the menopausal transition.

Women start perimenopause at different ages. You may notice signs of progression toward menopause, such as menstrual irregularity, sometime in your 40s. But some women notice changes as early as their mid-30s.

 

The level of your estrogen — the main female hormone — rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause. Your menstrual cycles may lengthen or shorten, and you may begin having menstrual cycles in which your ovaries don't release an egg (ovulate). Once you've gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, you've officially reached menopause, and the perimenopause period is over.
 

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance During perimenopause, hormone levels may decline and cause uncomfortable symptoms.  Symptoms of hormone imbalance include, but are not limited to; hot flashes, sleep problems, memory loss, mood swings, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, and vaginal dryness.  The good news is for many patients hormone replacement therapy can help ease these symptoms.  Here are steps to follow that can lead to relief:

1. Review our Hormone Imbalance Symptom Checklist and fill out an evaluation.

If someone is experiencing multiple symptoms, it may indicate that she/he is a good candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT. The following resources can help identify your symptoms so that you can begin the discussion with your provider about treatment options:

2. Work with a Healthcare Provider Who is Experienced in Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy can be very effective in treating hormonal imbalance, but an experienced provider can identify other factors (such as diet and stress) that are contributing to the patient's symptoms. Often, the best treatments include a comprehensive approach to improving the patient's lifestyle, through diet and stress reduction, as well as incorporating Hormone Replacement Therapy.

3. Get Tested

It is vital that both your healthcare provider and pharmacist know precisely what your hormone levels are so that they can be balanced. Typical tests include saliva, urine, or blood tests. Saliva tests are available for purchase at Carr Drugs, urine and blood tests are available through your provider and may be covered by your insurance. For our female patients, we recommend you have your hormone levels tested for estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA. Once your lab results have been processed and are completed, our pharmacist may use this information to recommend a compounded prescription (that is customized for you) to your doctor. After approval from your doctor, our staff will prepare your compounded medication. The pharmacist can answer any questions you may have and explain how you should take or use your customized medication.
What is HRT/BHRT? HRT stands for Hormone Replacement Therapy, and BHRT stands for Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. The hormones that Carr Drugs uses in our customized compounds are derived from yam and soy, and are refined to mimic human hormone molecules. Because they appear to be human hormone molecules in our bodies, they are more easily broken down and metabolized. At Carr Drugs, we compound bio-identical hormones into creams, capsules, suppositories, and troches to best serve your needs. BHRT is a natural and safe way to start feeling like yourself again. If you are ready to start feeling like yourself again, call us at 504-367-5724 to speak with one of our compounding specialists to schedule a consultation.


What are the Most Common Dosage Forms?

Carr Drugs offers a variety of dosage forms for your customized compounded BHRT prescription to help make your prescription easier for you to take. These dosage forms include:
  • Topical creams/ gels.  
  • Topical solutions
  • Capsules
  • Troches (similar to a lozenge or a "gummy")
  • Vaginal Creams
Are Compounds Regulated By the FDA?

Because compounds are made for individual patients, they are not regulated by the FDA.  The FDA approval process is intended for manufacturers making larger quantities of medication for general use by the public.  The federal government has approved the use of compounds for individual patients receiving a specific compound.

Need More Information? The following sites have more information about HRT and compounded medications:

PCCA Compounding and Patients

Compounded Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Compounding

IACP Facts and Myths about Bioidentical Hormones

IACP FAQs about Compounding Or, give us a call. We're happy to discuss any questions you might have. Call us at 504-367-5724 to speak to a compounding specialist today!






References:

  1. PCCA Compounding and Patients. http://www.pccarx.com/patients/compounding-patients

  2. PCCA Compounded Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Compounding. http://www.pccarx.com/what-is-compounding/specialty-compounding/compounded-hormone-replacement-therapy-hrt-compounding

  3. PCCA IACP BHRT Myths and Facts. https://wow.pccarx.com/Documents/M-Files/97772_IACP_BHRT_Myth-Fact.pdf

  4. IACP Compounding FAQs. http://www.iacprx.org/?page=2

Last Updated: 6/21/2016