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Suppression of vasomotor and vulvovaginal symptoms with continuous oral 17[beta]-estradiol.

Notelovitz, M. MD, PhD; Mattox, J. H. MD
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Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of different doses of 17[beta]-estradiol for the treatment of vasomotor and vulvovaginal symptoms.

Design: This was a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, parallel-group study. One hundred forty-five subjects, including naturally postmenopausal women aged 40-60 (who had not experienced menses for at least 12 months), women who had undergone hysterectomy, and women aged 25-60 who had undergone bilateral oophorectomy with or without hysterectomy were studied. Either placebo or 17[beta]-estradiol (1 mg or 0.5 mg) was given orally every day for 12 weeks, and vasomotor symptoms and vaginal epithelial cytology were evaluated.

Results: There were significant differences between placebo and the active treatments in the percentage change from baseline in the number of hot flushes (all hot flushes, 1 mg vs. placebo, p < 0.001; 0.5 mg vs. placebo, p = 0.007), with a more substantial proportion of subjects responding in the 1-mg group (mean change in mean number of hot flushes of 83.2%). Both doses were also more effective than placebo in increasing the proportion of mature vaginal cells (end-of-treatment mean values of 0%, 78.5%, and 21.5% for parabasal, intermediate, and superficial cells, respectively, in the 1-mg group; mean values of 0.3%, 80.8%, and 18.9% in the 0.5-mg group; and mean values of 15.2%, 74.7%, and 10.2% in the placebo group). The proportion of subjects reporting no vaginal dryness was greatest in the 1-mg group (mean percentage of days without dryness of 86.1% at weeks 9-12).

Conclusions: For the relief of vasomotor and vulvovaginal symptoms, 17[beta]-estradiol 1 mg is effective and has an excellent safety profile. (Menopause 2000;7:310-317. (C) 2000, The North American Menopause Society.)

(C)2000The North American Menopause Society