Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormonal imbalances can take place at any age and affect both men and women. Many women experience side effects when dealing with menopause and hormone imbalance. Unstable hormone levels can lead to chronic symptoms and disorders that can disrupt daily activity. Some of these symptoms include but are not limited to: unexpected weight gain, hot flashes, migraines, depression, difficulty sleeping, loss of libido, and fatigue.
The primary hormone of importance in females is estrogen, which exists in three different forms in the body: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3). Other important hormones include progesterone (P4), testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). These substances may help restore natural balance in the body and may help alleviate chronic symptoms arising from imbalance.
How can compounds help?
There are several effective products that exist on the commercial market to help with symptom management. Compounding allows for a more personal and tailored dose for you. In addition, compounding offers a variety of dosage forms that will best fit you. By working with your medical provider, compounding pharmacies can create various formulations that may include any combination E1, E2, P4, E3, DHEA, and/or testosterone to help manage your symptoms with the lowest possible dose to alleviate symptoms for the shortest period of time.
Complete medical histories will be taken and evaluated to create a product that will help you manage any issues you might be experiencing. The amount of these hormones will be limited to mimic how they naturally exist in your body to ensure safety. Formulation examples include topical and vaginal creams, oral capsules, and orally dissolving or sublingual tablets. With sufficient monitoring, formulations can be adjusted to help relieve your most bothersome symptoms.
Compounding is a relationship between the patient, physician, and pharmacist. Together, they will work to provide an alternative treatment option when and if the current available treatment options are not the best fit for you.
Hormonal imbalances can occur at any age and affect both men and women. The primary hormone in men is testosterone. As age increases, testosterone levels decline and can lead to a condition known as andropause or more commonly “low-T.” Testosterone deficiency may lead to decreased concentration, lethargy, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and depression among other side effects.
How can compounds help?
There are several effective products that exist on the commercial market to help with symptom management. If you have low testosterone and if the current available treatment options are not a good fit for you, your compounding pharmacies can work with your medical provider to create a testosterone formulation for you. These medications may be for oral or topical use. With proper monitoring and dosage adjustments, compounded testosterone formulations can help control symptoms associated with low-T in a safe manner.
Serious side effects have been reported with testosterone including the following:
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice pain or swelling in the legs, redness of the legs, difficulty breathing, or chest pain.
- Possible increased risk of heart attack. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of a heart attack. Symptoms include:
- chest pain
- feeling of pressure in the chest
- shortness of breath
- discomfort in the neck, back, shoulder, or arms
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- Possible increased risk of stroke. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of a stroke. Symptoms include:
- sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body (can be in the face, arm or leg)
- sudden confusion
- difficulty speaking
- sudden change in vision
- sudden trouble walking (may experience loss of balance or coordination).
- Possible increased risk of prostate cancer. Your healthcare provider will check for prostate cancer before and during treatment with testosterone.
- Edema with or without heart failure. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice swelling of your ankles, feet, or body.
This is not a complete list of testosterone serious side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Compounding requires a relationship between the patient, physician, and pharmacist. Together, they will work to provide an alternative treatment option when and if the current available treatment options are not the best fit for you.