All of the doctors I know are well trained and well intentioned. But sometimes putting your faith in the system gets you in trouble.
The pharmaceutical giant Wyeth is being sued over its synthetic hormone drugs Premarin and Prempro. They are alleging the drugs can cause cancer and heart disease. During the discovery process, they uncovered a scam.
And what a doozy this scam is!
Wyeth paid ghostwriters to create scientific review articles. These articles were then published in leading medical journals.
And these articles are full of misleading data that led doctors to believe they were safe.
Here’s how Wyeth’s deception worked:
The ghostwriters wrote the journal articles. The articles touted the benefits of synthetic hormone replacement therapy. And downplayed all the risks. Serious risks, like invasive breast cancer, stroke, heart disease and even dementia.
Then, the ghostwriters paid top physicians to sign their name as the author of the article. It didn’t matter that the physicians hadn’t contributed anything or very little to the writing or scientific review of the available studies. And the doctors didn’t know that the drug company was paying for the study.
The final versions of these articles didn’t mention Wyeth’s financial ties. Even the respected journals that published them had no idea.
The plan worked. Doctors rely on medical journals. As a result, thousands prescribed synthetic hormones to their patients, thinking it was perfectly safe.
It’s no wonder sales of Premarin and Prempro spiked to almost $2 billion in 2001.1 At one time, Premarin was the #1 moneymaking prescription in the U.S.
If you can’t trust the medical journals, what are you left with? I’ve always been skeptical that drugs are the only answer. I always ask myself these questions: What did nature intend? What did it create? Are there natural alternatives to man-made drugs?
Synthetic, chemical-based drugs that try to mimic a hormone can lead to real trouble. And in this case, even cancer. But if you try to recreate what nature intended using compounds that your body recognizes as safe, you’ll get relief without the risk.
Instead of dangerous synthetic HRT drugs, here’s what I use to treat my patients.
Black Cohosh. Black cohosh works to normalize your hormones and gently helps you regain your sex drive. Studies show it can be nearly as effective as HRT to reduce hot flashes, night sweats, depression and anxiety. I recommend 250 mg three times a day.2,3
Maca Root. Found high in the Andes Mountains of Peru, maca root has been used for 8,000 years to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, improve your mood, and rev-up your sexual desire. Take 200 mg daily.
I also recommend that you see your doctor and get your hormone levels checked. This includes checking your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels.
Consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Unlike synthetic HRT, bioidenticals are exact replicas of your own hormones that are easily identified by your body. When it comes to hormones, one size does not fit all. Everyone’s needs are different. With bioidenticals, your doctor can prescribe a custom blend of naturally occurring hormones that are specific to your needs.
You’ll need a compounding pharmacy to fill your prescription. They are usually independently owned and easy to find in your state.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
- Fugate SE, Church CO. Nonestrogen treatment modalities for vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause. Ann Pharmacother. 2004 Sep;38(9):1482-99.
- Frei-Kleiner S, Schaffner W, Rahlfs VW, Bodmer C, Birkhauser M. Cimicifuga racemosa dried ethanolic extract in menopausal disorders: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Maturitas. 2005 Aug 16;51(4):397-404.