Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a controversial medical treatment that is typically used to reduce or manage the symptoms that some women experience during and after menopause. There are a number of synthetic hormones used in hormone replacement therapy, including Premarin, which is manufactured by Pfizer, and Prempro, which is manufactured by Wyeth.
Unfortunately, significant evidence indicates that synthetic hormones used in HRT treatments may pose serious risks to the women who take them.
At Roberts & Roberts, our dangerous drug lawyers are reviewing claims from patients who have experienced significant and life-threatening complications after receiving hormone treatments. If you or a loved one developed breast cancer or other side effects linked to hormone therapy, you may have a claim for damages against the manufacturer of the medication or against the doctor or clinic where the treatment was administered.
Contact Roberts & Roberts today to learn more about your options for taking legal action.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
In 2002, more than 13 million women were taking some form of hormone replacement therapy. At that time, an estimated 8 million American women took Premarin following a hysterectomy, while approximately 16 million women were taking Prempro or another generic version of Prempro containing medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA).
Premarin – which consists of conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) – is a synthetic form of estrogen, while Prempro and other MPAs are synthetic forms of progesterone. The medications were intended to treat menopausal symptoms and other health problems caused by hormone imbalance, such as hot flashes, night sweats, sexual dysfunction, mood swings and other physical and mental complications.
While millions of women were taking HRT, data was published from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002. WHI had conducted large-scale trials on women undergoing postmenopausal hormone therapy. The studies revealed that HRT was dangerous to women’s health and that it significantly increased the risk of cancer and other serious complications.
The headlines regarding the results of the WHI trials caused massive panic, and many women stopped taking HRT. However, hormone replacement therapy is still prescribed in certain cases and for certain patients. There is disagreement over the risks associated with taking synthetic hormones, and women who are prescribed HRT need to carefully consider whether the potential side effects and dangers are worth alleviating the symptoms prompting them to take hormone therapies.
Women who have developed complications as a result of HRT may also wish to consider taking legal action against those responsible.
There are some significant dangers associated with the use of HRT to treat menopause symptoms. While the specific risks vary depending on the age of the woman at the time HRT is administered, as well as lifestyle factors, genetics, environmental factors, medical history, hormone dosage and method of administration, some of the common risks include:
- Increased risks of ovarian, lung and breast cancer.
- Increased risk of malignant melanoma.
- Cardiac events including heart attack, cardiovascular death and stroke.
- Gallbladder disease.
- Blood clots (venous thromboembolic events).
- Reduced sensitivity to insulin.
- Brain atrophy including a decline in cognitive function.
- Increased risk of dementia.
- Tenderness in the breasts.
- Endometrial bleeding.
- Increased density of the breasts.
- Higher risks of abnormal mammograms.
- Higher risk of breast biopsies.
Numerous medical studies have shown that patients face significant dangers. For example:
- A 2004 study called “HRT in Relation to Breast Carcinoma Incidence Rate Ratios” revealed that women on hormone therapy had twice as many ductal breast cancers and four times the number of lobular breast cancers as women who were not on HRT medications.
- Another 2004 study conducted in Sweden on the impact of HRT on breast cancer patients had to be halted because the women involved were experiencing recurrent breast cancer three times as often as those in the placebo group. This incomplete study revealed that the risk of hormone receptor positive breast cancers was increased as much as five times.
- A Swedish study conducted in 2002 on 655 cases of invasive ovarian cancer found as much as triple the risk of ovarian cancers in women on hormone therapy.
These are just a few of the many medical studies that have been conducted over the years that have demonstrated that hormone replacement therapy may pose significant dangers to women.
Taking Legal Action
With millions of women undergoing hormone replacement therapy, there have been a significant number of patients who have developed cancer and other serious side effects. Manufacturers of HRT medications have been subject to numerous lawsuits related to HRT therapies. Some of these cases have settled, while other claims are still ongoing.
If you have been harmed by HRT, you may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer of your hormone replacement therapy or against medical care providers who are responsible for the harm that you have endured.
At Roberts & Roberts, our lawyers have represented many clients who have developed complications due to defective drugs. We are prepared to help you make a case and resolve your claim either in court or through settlement negotiations.
Give our experienced attorneys a call today at 903-597-6000 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help you with your case.