Continuous combined hormone replacement therapy compared with tibolone

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Objective: To compare relief of vasomotor symptoms, changes in lipoproteins, and bleeding patterns in postmenopausal women receiving either continuous combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) of estradiol valerate and norethisterone or tibolone 2.5 mg/day. Methods: In a multicenter, randomized, open-label study, 235 postmenopausal women received one of the above-mentioned treatments. Fasting lipoproteins were measured at baseline and at 3, 6, and 12 months. At each visit, participants completed Greene climacteric questionnaires and recorded any bleeding episodes. Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation if normally distributed, median and interquartile range if non-normally distributed, or as frequency count. For menopausal symptoms and diary card data, the differences were tested by Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results: One hundred sixteen women received continuous combined HRT and 119 women received tibolone; 72 and 76 women, respectively, completed 12 months of therapy. Both treatments effectively relieved vasomotor symptoms and reduced serum total cholesterol. Continuous combined HRT, but not tibolone, significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein levels. Both treatments reduced high-density lipoprotein levels, but the effect was more profound with tibolone. The initial bleeding score was higher for women taking continuous combined HILT; however, by the end of the study, the percentages of amenorrheal women were comparable. Endometrial histology was similar for both treatments at the end of the study, although two cases of proliferative endometrium were found in the tibolone group. Conclusion: Estradiol valerate-norethisterone continuous combined HRT controls symptoms and is associated with a safe lipid profile.




Al-Azzawi, F., Wahab, M., Habiba, M., Akkad, A., & Mason, T. (1999). Continuous combined hormone replacement therapy compared with tibolone. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 93(2), 258–264.

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