Everything you can do about the HRT crisis as pharmacies face drug shortages

The number of people relying on HRT treatment has doubled in the last five years. In England alone there are now 500,000 prescriptions a month, but pharmacies are currently suffering from shortages

The number of people relying on HRT has doubled in the last five years
The number of people relying on HRT has doubled in the last five years

Pain, palpitations, anxiety, depression, decreased self-confidence, lack of energy, hot flashes, even suicidal thoughts… the list goes on.

These are symptoms that many menopausal women in the UK are currently suffering unnecessarily due to deficiency Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) which helps mitigate the challenges of “change”.

The number of people relying on this treatment has doubled in the last five years and there are now 500,000 HRT prescriptions monthly in England alone.

However, it seems that supply is not able to keep up with demand as women across the country are being forced to leave the country empty-handed pharmacies.

Currently the bottlenecks are with estrogel and some other types of HRT like FemSeven Sequi patches.

However, for those concerned about the shortage of supplies – which MP Carolyn Harris attributes to the government’s “poor planning” – Dr. Juliet Balfour’s vital questions…

Pharmacies face shortages of HRT drugs



What should you do if you can’t get access to HRT?

If someone cannot get their prescription, Dr. Balfour to speak to a family doctor. The good news, however, is that not all types of HRT are scarce, and the Women’s Health Concern website has a “really useful” conversion chart showing equivalent doses for HRT products.

She adds that “it’s worth it for patients to look at before contacting the doctor.”

Should people get HRT from a friend when they’re dating?

“People shouldn’t swap dosages, brands, or types,” says Dr. Balfour. There are many variables that can make this dangerous and it is therefore important to seek medical advice.

For example, “estrogen pills can slightly increase the risk of blood clots, so there are certain people who can’t take the pills — if you’re very overweight, you’re overweight blood pressureto have migraine headache.”

She also warns that taking someone else’s medication could end up with a person getting “a much lower dose, something from a much higher dose, something that doesn’t suit you.”

The good news is that not all types of HRT are in short supply


Getty Images/Collection Mix: Sub)

What lifestyle changes can help people cope with the deficiency?

dr Balfour explains that “lifestyle is really important. So eating healthy, not smoking, cutting down on alcohol, going out, exercising, all those things.”

As for hot flashes, avoiding triggers like “alcohol, smoking, spicy food and stress” can help.

Additional cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] is effective at “teaching people how to calm it down”.

Do antidepressants work instead of HRT?

There are two types of antidepressants that can relieve hot flashes and night sweats, the menopause specialist says.

The first is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs] which increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, and the second is serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which increase both serotonin and norepinephrine.

However, she says they “don’t really help with other symptoms and they don’t really help with anxiety and depression.”

“This is a big problem because many women in their 40s are put on antidepressants when they come with menopause symptoms. In fact, they need estrogen, not antidepressants.”

It seems that the supply cannot keep up with the demand



Are there natural remedies?

There are many natural remedies that claim to help with menopause. Some use wildflower St. John’s Wort to boost their mood, while others turn to red clover to reduce hot flashes or magnesium to help sleep better.

dr However, Balfour admits that nothing is “conclusively proven”. She adds, “The symptoms are due to lack of estrogen and what gets rid of them is giving people their estrogen back.”

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Fry Electronics Team

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