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National Osteoporosis Society (NOS)

NOS position on HRT

National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) position statement on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as a treatment for osteoporosis

The National Osteoporosis Society welcomes the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh (RCPE) statement on HRT which is useful up-to-date guidance for clinicians on the risks associated with HRT, helping them to advise their patients appropriately.

The NOS looks forward to the publication of consensus guidance by the RCPE for the public, because women themselves are keen to have accurate information to help them make well-informed decisions about using HRT.

Younger post-menopausal women, aged 50 to 60, who decide to take HRT for the relief of menopausal symptoms can be reassured that they are receiving an effective osteoporosis therapy. However they will need to balance risks and benefits carefully and, on stopping HRT, discuss other treatments with their doctor if they are at high risk of fracture.

Scientific advisers within the NOS confirm that HRT can no longer generally be considered the first line treatment for osteoporosis because of increased risks of breast cancer and the potential increased risks of cardiovascular disease. There are, however, other effective treatments such as the bisphosphonates – alendronate, risedronate and cyclical etidronate – and the Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) raloxifene as well as calcium and vitamin D for older frailer women at risk of hip fracture. These are now considered ‘first choice’ treatments for post-menopausal women at high risk of osteoporotic fracture.

For more information, the NOS produces two booklets Drug Treatments for Osteoporosis and Hormone Replacement Therapy for the menopause and osteoporosis or people can ring the NOS helpline on 0845 450 0230.


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