Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Transdermal Estradiol May Be an Effective Antidepressant. ('Quite Rapid' Onset)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Transdermal Estradiol May Be an Effective Antidepressant. ('Quite Rapid' Onset)

Article excerpt

ALBUQUERQUE -- Transdermal estradiol appears to be an effective antidepressant in penmenopausal women with various forms of depression, Dr. Paula Hensley said at a psychiatric symposium sponsored by the University of New Mexico.

But that doesn't mean it's time to start routinely using the estradiol patch for this purpose. While transdermal estradiol's antidepressant efficacy in a recent well-conducted randomized controlled trial is certainly thought provoking, Dr. Hensley stressed that she is "not at all" advocating using estrogen in any form as a treatment for depression in women.

The halt earlier this year of the HRT arm of the National Institutes of Health--sponsored Women's Health Initiative because of increased rates of breast cancer, acute MI, and stroke has for now squelched interest in identifying new indications for estrogen therapy in any form.

That is particularly the case for conditions such as depression, for which numerous therapeutic options already exist.

But the antidepressant effect of transdermal estradiol is worth noting. That's because the Women's Health Initiative looked at the use of one particular oral formulation of estrogen with progestin. When the dust clears surrounding this issue, if it turns out that the serious adverse effects of estrogen are limited to oral combination therapy, transdermal estradiol may yet have a future in the treatment of depression in perimenopausal women, said Dr. Hensley, a psychiatrist who is clinical director of the general clinic at the University of New Mexico Mental Health Center, Albuquerque.

The transdermal estradiol antidepressant study was conducted by Dr. Claudio de Navaes Soares and colleagues at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil.

The trial involved 50 perimenopausal women aged 40-55 with an FSH level greater than 25 IU/L and irregular menstrual periods. …

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