Cyclic hormonal replacement therapy after the menopause: Transdermal versus oral treatment

M. Cortellaro, T. Nencioni, C. Boschetti, S. Ortolani, F. Buzzi, B. Francucci, M. P. Caraceni, P. Abelli, F. Polvani, C. Zanussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an open, randomized, comparative, between-patient trial, 45 postmenopausal women were treated for 4 months with cyclical transdermal oestradiol 0.05 mg per day or oral conjugated equine oestrogens 0.625 mg per day, in both cases, plus, medroxyprogesterone acetate 10 mg per day on the last 8 days of each cycle. Similar relief from postmenopausal symptoms was obtained with both treatments. Post-treatment histological evaluation of the endometrium did not reveal neoplastic or hyperplastic change in any patient. Early follicular-phase plasma oestradiol levels were observed only after transdermal oestradiol. There was a significant reduction in serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in both treatment groups, with no difference between treatments, whereas serum triglyceride levels were decreased only by transdermal oestradiol. Plasma calcium and phosphorus fell significantly and serum intact parathyroid hormone rose significantly, with no difference between the therapies. No significant changes were observed in clotting factors. Transdermal oestradiol appears to be an effective and safe hormonal replacement therapy, and this route of administration may be responsible for the more useful action of the drug on serum lipids and plasma oestradiol levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-559
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991


  • acetate
  • adverse effects
  • conjugated oestrogens
  • medroxyprogesterone
  • menopause - oestradiol
  • plasma lipids
  • postmenopausal women
  • transdermal delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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