Jean Hailes for Women's Health featured recently in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in a story about the current shortage of oestrogen patches, a hormone replacement treatment used to manage menopausal symptoms.
With so many questions being raised about the shortage, we asked Jean Hailes Medical Director Dr Elizabeth Farrell and Jean Hailes endocrinologist Dr Sonia Davison for some further advice.
If I use oestrogen patches such as Estradot (oestrogen only) and Estalis (combined oestrogen and progestogen), what does the shortage mean for me?
While these products are unavailable you might need to consider alternative HRT products.
How do I decide what alternative HRT I should use?
There are different options available, including a topical gel or substituting with another patch, but it's best to make an appointment and talk to your health professional to work out what's appropriate for you.
When are supplies expected to return to normal?
According to an official statement on the website of Novartis, a pharmaceutical company that supplies some oestrogen patches: "Novartis is currently undergoing a disruption in supply of Estradot, Estalis Continuous and Estalis Sequi in Australia. We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused and are working to resolve the fluctuations in supply. We anticipate a return to stable supply in Australia by mid-2017."
I'm a health practitioner, where can I find reliable information on HRT products?
The Australasian Menopause Society has an excellent guide to HRT equivalent-dose products and should be consulted for further guidance as to other products that may be used.