I was shocked to discover last week that Utrogestan® 200mg Capsules have been discontinued. As from 1 August 2014 women who take Utrogestan® 200mg to treat infertility or menopausal symptoms will have to ask their doctors to write them a new prescription.
Besins Healthcare Discontinue Utrogestan 200mg Capsules
Belgian pharmaceutical company Besins Healthcare, who are the Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer of Utrogestan® decided to pull the plug on the 200mg Capsules due to “low level use of this dose.”
My heart sank at this news because as far as I’m aware Utrogestan® Capsules are the only form of bioidentical progesterone available on the NHS. Utrogestan® is a micronised progesterone and structurally identical to the progesterone produced by a woman’s body.
Avoid Synthetic Progesterone
My pharmacist suggested I ask my GP to prescribe medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) (trade names Provera® and Climanor® ) but I wasn’t keen as it is a synthetic form of progesterone and has well documented side-effects including depression, headaches, weight gain and lack of sexual desire, none of which sound very appealing.
Also, after my negative experience of taking synthetic HRT in the form of Prempak-C, I had vowed to steer clear of synthetic hormones.
More importantly, MPA in combination with oestrogen is known to increase the risk of invasive breast cancer whereas micronised progesterone does not increase cell proliferation in breast tissue in postmenopausal women.
After a bit of digging around on the internet I read on The Pharmaceutical Journal website that Utrogestan® 100mg Capsules and vaginal capsules 200mg are still available from Besins Healthcare. Hallelujah!
I phoned my GP and asked if he could change my prescription to Utrogestan® 100mg and double the amount he prescribed. This means that instead of taking one capsule I now take two in order to get the required dose.
The Importance of Progesterone in HRT
If you are menopausal, taking HRT in the form of oestrogen and still have a uterus it is really important that you also take progesterone.
It prevents the abnormal thickening of the lining of the uterus which can cause womb cancer and ensures you to have a monthly bleed like a period in which you shed the womb lining.
Also bear in mind that Utrogestan® has a calming effect so it’s recommended that you take it before bed on an empty stomach on days 15 to 26 of your 28 day cycle. It will help you sleep better which is an added bonus.
If your pharmacist can’t fill your next prescription for Utrogestan® 200mg please don’t be fobbed off with synthetic medroxyprogesterone acetate. Ask your GP to prescribe Utrogestan® 100mg, double your dose (take two capsules instead of one) and all will be as before.