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Drugs Spotlight Program: Management of the Menopause

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Thomas Detre, M.D.; Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O'Hara St.; Pittsburgh, PA 15261.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

© 1978 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(3):373-378. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-3-373
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Menopause is merely a clinically discernible clue symbolic of the multitude of changes preceding or following the cessation of menses by many years. Because of the time span involved, separating changes observed in the menopausal transition from other age-related maturational events presents serious methodologic problems. Of the host of psychologic and psychosomatic symptoms, only hot flushes and associated sweats occur more frequently in this epoch, while an interplay between hormonal and age-related effects is assumed in atrophic changes involving the genitourinary organs. The relation between menopause and osteoporosis is suggestive but by no means proven, as is the risk for cardiovascular disease. Empiric evidence points to the usefulness of estrogen for the management of vasomotor instability, the symptoms associated with atrophy of the genitourinary tract, and in the prophylaxis of osteoporosis, but not in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders.







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