Menopause medication, takes a pause

National women

HRT medicines, which are essential medication for menopausal women, are unavailable in government pharmacies

Essential medicines for menopause are unavailable in government pharmacies. Dr. Somya Gupta, a gynaecologist in a tweet said, “So many essential medicines for menopausal women are not available in government pharmacy. It is frustrating to try to treat vasomotor symptoms of menopause with counselling and vitamins. Patients are unable to afford even Rs 200 medicine. Poverty.”

A Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra pharmacist, said, “Currently we don’t have any tablets for this problem. If needed we can find tablets with similar compositions and provide them to buyers.” 

Dr Somya Gupta, gynaecologist in a government hospital in Delhi said, “Menopause requires certain hormonal medication, which differs from the medication required for pre-menopausal women, who are in the menopause stage and for post menopause because menopause causes oestrogen deficiency. The textbook evidence guidelines show that it can cause cardiovascular complications and osteoporosis, which can cause the bones to become brittle.”

She added, “In the private sector in India; oestrogen patches, vaginal oestrogen creams are available, but as far as I know, they are not available in government pharmacies.” She said that the medicines available in the private sector are also very expensive and unaffordable for most women. The vasomotor symptoms cannot be treated with vitamins or diet, so it is essential for menopausal women, to take these medications.

While Dr Pranabesh Chakroboti,  an MD of Internal Medicine in a tweet said, “Awareness for HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is part and parcel of many menopausal diseases. Yet there’s limited awareness about this even at a physician level. Having them available in government pharmacies is unimaginable.”