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Pharmacotherapeutic options for the treatment of menopausal symptoms

Andrea R Genazzani 1Patrizia Monteleone 1Andrea Giannini 1Tommaso Simoncini 1

Expert Opin Pharmacother doi: 10.1080/14656566.2021.1921148

Abstract

Introduction: Menopausal symptoms can be very overwhelming for women. Over the years, many pharmacotherapeutic options have been tested, and others are still being developed. Hormone therapy (HT) is the most efficient therapy for managing vasomotor symptoms and related disturbances. The term HT comprises estrogens and progestogens, androgens, tibolone, the tissue-selective estrogen complex (TSEC), a combination of bazedoxifene and conjugated estrogens, and the selective estrogen receptor modulators, such as ospemifene. Estrogens and progestogens and androgens may differ significantly for chemical structure and can be delivered through different routes, thereby displaying various pharmacological and clinical properties. Tibolone, TSEC and SERM also exhibit unique pharmacodynamics that can be exploited to obtain distinctive therapeutic effects. Non-hormonal options fall mainly into the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), GABA-analogue drug classes.

Areas covered: Herein, the authors describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of hormonal (androgens, estrogens, progestogens, tibolone, TSEC, SERMs) and non-hormonal (SSRIs, SNRIs, Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Oxybutynin, Neurokinin antagonists) treatments for menopausal symptoms and report essential clinical trial data in humans.

Expert opinion: Patient tailoring of treatment is key to managing symptoms of menopause. Physicians must have in-depth knowledge of the pharmacology of compounds to tailor therapy to the individual patient’s characteristics and needs.