Prempro is a medication prescribed in hormone replacement therapy
for women. It is designed to provide relief of menopausal symptoms such
as hot flashes, insomnia, and mood swings. It is also touted as a means
of preventing osteoporosis.
Recently, Prempro and other estrogen progestin combinations have
been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke
and blood clotting in the legs and lungs.
These side effects were a surprise to the National Heart, Lung and
Blood Institute which stopped a clinical trial long before its
scheduled end date when the side effects of estrogen progestin
combinations became apparent. Specific study findings for the estrogen
plus progestin group compared to placebo include:
• A 41 percent increase in strokes
• A 29 percent increase in heart attacks
• A doubling of rates of venous thromboembolism (blood clots)
• A 22 percent increase in total cardiovascular disease
• A 26 percent increase in breast cancer
• A 37 percent reduction in cases of colorectal cancer
• A one-third reduction in hip fracture rates
• A 24 percent reduction in total fractures
• No difference in total mortality (of all causes)
Prempro is manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. In 2001 alone over 22 million prescriptions were written for Prempro.