Welcome to Customcare Compounding Pharmacy’s Womens Health Section. Since before puberty, women’s bodies go through mountains and valleys of hormonal changes. As menopause embarks, the normal chaos is no longer normal and most times, tolerable. Customcare Compounding Pharmacy is here to help keep you afloat of your female changes and help you ride out the waves peacefully.
Customcare Pharmacy can assist you with medication tailored to your special and individual needs. Place an order with an existing script (service available any where in Australia) or read on to learn more.
The definition of menopause is the physical end of menses (menstruation) as a result of decreasing ovarian function. The diagnosis is typically not made until menses has not occurred for one year. Since this is not a sudden change, early symptoms of menopause are often overlooked.
The transition to menopause is a process that can take years. In the two to ten years before the last menstrual period, and the year or so after, women may experience very difficult physical and emotional symptoms.
Conventional HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) consists of using standard doses of synthetic hormones without considering each woman’s hormonal profile. An individualised approach to HRT, using biologically identical hormones, can pinpoint exact hormone levels, and what is needed to bring them back into balance.
To find out if your symptoms could be related to hormonal changes, call Customcare Compounding Pharmacy to talk to one of our pharmacists specially trained in HRT.
How do I know if I'm menopausal?
Menopause is diagnosed retrospectively after 12 months without a period. The period leading up to that time, called perimenopause, can begin up to five years or more earlier. Although a woman may still have a menstrual cycle during perimenopause, she may experience symptoms very similar to those of menopause. A blood test or saliva test can measure hormone levels.
What are some of those symptoms? Symptoms may include:
What can I do?
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist when you experience any or some of the above symptoms. There are options available to help you manage the transition into menopause.
What are biologically identical hormones?
Biologically identical hormones are derived from plants, such as the wild yam or soybean plant. The wild yam is rich in precursor molecules that can be converted into hormones whose molecular structure is the same as those produced naturally in the human body.
How are biologically identical hormones administered?
A patient may need to try several different delivery systems to determine which one works best. Non-oral routes of administration, such as trans-dermal (through the skin) and sub-lingual (under the tongue), may provide a more consistent and natural way to introduce medications into the body.
Can anyone take hormones?
Relative contraindications to hormonal therapy include:
Absolute contraindications to hormonal therapy include:
If you’re concerned about symptoms that may be related to hormonal imbalances, the Hormone Self Assessment Questionnaire is a useful tool. The brief questionnaire asks for general information about your personal and family medical history, your current medications, and the degree to which you are experiencing complaints ranging from insomnia and depression to hot flushes, vaginal dryness, and fatigue.
After you’ve filled out the questionnaire, call or visit Customcare Compounding Pharmacy for a consultation with a pharmacist who specialises in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Together, you can review your self-assessment questionnaire and discuss your options. The pharmacist may suggest appropriate saliva or blood tests to check your current hormone levels. You will then receive a personalised recommendation for HRT, which can be given to you or faxed directly to your health care practitioner.
Although various types of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) have been established, the route of administration is one way to improve the benefits, decrease the risks and side effects, and improve compliance.
Individual variations in response to different dosage forms increase the importance of having a choice of dosage forms to optimise patient outcomes. We have the ability to compound any dosage form which meets the needs of the physician and patient.
Mimicking ovarian hormonal secretion should be the goal of HRT (hormone replacement therapy). With the possible exception of pellet implants, percutaneous gels may offer HRT closest to the natural mode. Studies show plasma values remain constant throughout the day and the adequacy of the dose can be checked with standard laboratory testing (blood serum or saliva). Whereas the matrix of transdermal patches acts as a reservoir for hormonal delivery, percutaneous gels might use the natural reservoir effect of the skin to deliver a continuous flow of hormones into the body between the ONCE DAILY applications.
ALL HRT need to be individualised for optimal effect. Variances in individual levels due to differences in absorption can easily be corrected by simply adjusting the volume or strength of the gel used by the patient. The gel dries completely within 1-2 minutes of application, leaving no visible trace or smell. Two or more hormones may be combined into a single dose to increase ease of application and compliance.
There are seldom problems with skin irritation even in warm or humid climates as is sometimes the case with transdermal patches. Like ovarian secretion, percutaneous gels do not deliver HRT via the portal system, thereby avoiding the first pass effect of liver metabolism. Unlike oral routes, a more physiologic estrone/estradiol balance is preserved.
NOTE: There are major differences in gel formulations. Some gels are not designed for delivering a 24-hour effect, e.g. PLO gels. Other gel forms include types of alcohol and other ingredients that are not appropriate for daily use. Our gels are consistent with those commercially available in Europe and are hypoallergenic.
We can provide a wide range of release systems and excipients, including oil-filled capsules, to be used with individual hormones or hormone combinations. We can offer capsules with an extended release delivery system for those medications and conditions that require a more continuous release to achieve the desired effect. Also available is a large variety of fillers for those patients who have multiple allergies or are extremely chemically sensitive.
CREAMS AND OINTMENTS
Creams and ointments can be compounded with a variety of different hormones and with complete strength and dosage flexibility. The consistency can be changed depending on the absorption required and the site of application. Our formulas are hypoallergenic and can be made preservative free to minimise patient allergies and sensitivities. Most creams, to be effectively used for HRT, must be applied at least twice a day.
SUPPOSITORIES AND PESSARIES
Many ingredients can be compounded into suppository and pessary form. We use individually sealed, disposable, plastic molds for patient convenience. Also available are suppositories wrapped in foil.
TROCHES - sublingual dosage form
Customcare Compounding Pharmacy has available a wide variety of dosage forms not typically found in other pharmacies. For those patients who have a unique medical circumstance, we can provide an alternative to traditional therapies.
Bio Identical hormones are the exact duplicate of those that are natural to or occurring in the human body.
Synthetic hormones are not found in the human body, and are not identical in structure or function to the hormones they are intended to replace. Bio identical hormones are derived from diosgenin a plant molecule found in soy beans and wild yam. Bio identical hormones are said to be natural hormones not because of their source but their chemical structure is the same as that of the hormones our bodies produce. The plant molecule, diosgenin is taken to a laboratory to be converted into hormones that have the same structure as those that exists in the body.
Because we are supplementing the body with hormone molecules that are identical to those we produce, it allows our body to benefit identically the same way as it would when the body produces them. The bio identical hormones bind quickly to receptors causing the appropriate affect and are broken down quickly and metabolised so they may be excreted from the body.
When we supplement our bodies with bio identical hormones we are replenishing it with identically structured hormones that it has always made. Our bodies recognise these hormones allowing them to bind to receptors quickly and metabolise so they may be excreted from the body. Synthetic hormones cause some of the same actions as our body’s own hormones, but as they have been chemically altered may have different or unintended effects.
Adequate levels and an appropriate balance of the steroid are necessary for maintaining optimal health and well-being in both females and males. This family of steroid hormones may support a wide range of essential physiological functions, including blood lipid balance, bone mineral density, fertility, sexuality, a general sense of well-being, and certain aspects of brain functioning.
The saliva test measures levels of specific hormones that are produced in the body, consumed as foods, dietary supplements or medications. Saliva yields a direct measure of “free hormone ” level and is comparable to that measured by blood. Also, timing of the test can be precisely controlled and levels can be determined at optimum times. Saliva testing provides a means to establish whether or not your hormone levels are within the expected normal range, and it is simple and non-invasive. It is appropriate to monitor and titrate doses to minimise side effects and risks without compromising the benefits of replacement therapy.
We are compounding specialists who help set the standards for our industry. Customcare Compounding Pharmacy is one of the most experienced and comprehensive compounding facilities in Australia. Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to compound virtually any product for custom, individualised therapy. Our staff includes Registered Pharmacists, and experienced technicians who are experts in compounding and specialise in the biologically identical hormones used in menopause and andropause therapies.