NEW CAMPAIGN: ESTROGEN THERAPY I.Q. (ETIQ) KICKS OFF TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO CREDIBLE FACTS ABOUT MENOPAUSE AND ADVANCES IN ESTROGEN THERAPY
MEDICAL EXPERTS SET OUT TO BUILD AWARENESS OF BIOIDENTICAL ESTROGEN OPTIONS THAT ARE APPROVED BY THE U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA)
MAPLE GROVE, Minn.– May 7, 2010 — The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) announced the launch of Estrogen Therapy I.Q. (ETIQ) a campaign devoted to improving access to credible information about menopause and advances in estrogen therapy. The goal of the campaign is to boost awareness of bioidentical estrogen options that are FDA-approved so that women can make informed choices about how best to manage common symptoms of menopause such as “hot flashes.”
“NPWH identified many misconceptions about estrogen therapy in a recent survey conducted with our members who are on the front line counseling thousands of women every day about their health,” said Susan Wysocki, president and chief executive officer, NPWH. “One of the most startling and concerning facts revealed through our nurses who participated in the survey is that 78% consider their patients to be unaware of the variety of estrogen options available. Further, 82% of our nurses believe that their patients are unaware of the differences in estrogen therapies that have been approved as safe and effective by the FDA and those that are compounded or prepared at the pharmacy level, which are of growing popularity and being touted by people without a medical background via the Internet and media.”
Based on these findings, NPWH is setting out to correct misconceptions surrounding estrogen therapy through the ETIQ educational campaign, which arms women with medically sound information about treatment advances. The campaign and ETIQ.info focus on bioidentical estrogen therapy options that are FDA-approved versus compounded estrogen formulations that are not approved by the FDA. NPWH hopes to boost awareness of the advances in new delivery methods of estrogen, such as transdermals, in the form of gels, sprays and creams, which may be preferred options for some women.
“The results of the NPWH survey highlighted the need for improved access to credible information on advances in estrogen therapy, particularly regarding bioidentical estrogen therapies that are FDA-approved (versus compounded) and advances in delivery options, such as transdermals,” said Dr. Alan Altman, former assistant clinical professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, now of Aspen, CO, and currently president, International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH). “Many patients are requesting unapproved, compounded estrogen therapies, because celebrities are touting them. The goal of the ETIQ campaign is to help boost awareness of these bioidentical estrogen options that are FDA-approved and are also typically covered on insurance plans or other patient savings programs.”
The ETIQ campaign features an educational website www.ETIQ.info, offering women valuable information about managing symptoms associated with menopause and includes the ETIQ Test, a self-assessment test, which gives women immediate results to help them evaluate their estrogen therapy knowledge and learn more about the newer generation of bioidentical estrogen therapy options that are FDA-approved.
About the Survey
The NPWH posted a 30-question survey online. NPWH members responded to the survey between December 23, 2009, and February 17, 2010. The survey questions evaluated respondent demographics, estrogen therapy prescribing trends, knowledge of available therapies, recognition of misconceptions surrounding estrogen therapy and their perception of patient attitudes about menopause and estrogen therapy options. A total of 909 NPWH members responded to the survey. The response to the estrogen therapy survey is one of the highest in NPWH’s history.
The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health was founded in 1980. NPWH’s mission is to assure the provision of quality health care to women of all ages by nurse practitioners. NPWH represents nurse practitioners that provide care to women in the primary care setting as well as in women’s health specialty practices. NPWH is a trusted source of information on nurse practitioner education, practice, and women’s health issues.
NPWH developed and launched the campaign with financial support from Upsher-Smith Women’s Health. Visit www.ETIQ.info for more information.
Important Safety Information about Estrogen
Estrogen therapy isn’t for everyone. It should not be used by women who have unusual vaginal bleeding, currently have or have had certain cancers, had a stroke or heart attack in the past year, currently have or have had blood clots or liver problems, or think they may be pregnant. Using estrogens may increase the risk of uterine cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, blood clot, or dementia.
The most common side effects for all estrogen products are headache, breast pain, irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting, stomach/abdominal cramps and bloating, nausea and vomiting, and hair loss. The less common but serious side effects include breast cancer, cancer of the uterus, stroke, heart attack, blood clots, dementia, gallbladder disease, ovarian cancer, vaginal yeast infection, breast tenderness, and vaginal bleeding.
Estrogen is available only by prescription and should be used at the lowest possible dose only for as long as needed. Because every woman is unique, it is important that they talk with their healthcare provider about the benefits, risks, and side effects of any therapy they choose.