Wyeth Pharmaceuticals is the largest maker of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs, including Premprowhich was found to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in the Womens Health Initiative studies. However, that didnt stop Wyeth from developing a new HRT formulation named Aprela for the relief of menopause symptoms such as menopause hot flashes and sleep disturbances, reportedly without increasing a womans risk of estrogen-related cancers.
According to Wyeth, Aprela combines estrogen (Premarin) with a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator) called bazedoxifene. SERMs block the action of estrogen in certain tissues, including the breast, by occupying estrogen receptors so that estrogen cannot attach to the receptor sites. At the same time, SERMs reportedly stimulate estrogen receptors in other tissues, such as the liver, bone, and uterus (which increases your risk of uterine cancer!). But Wyeths studies suggest that bazedoxifene doesnt have that uterine-stimulating effect, thereby making it a better SERM for a safer HRT drug. In clinical trials, women have been taking Aprela daily for two years while being monitored for breast cancer. However, the study is less than three years old, and it can take 10 years for breast cancer to develop!
If you need to take hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopause symptoms, I much prefer that you consider taking bioidentical hormones, which can provide menopause relief without increasing your risk of life-threatening cancer. Talk to your doctor about bioidentical hormones, a much safer and more effective option.