Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): safety update

03 Sept 2007

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used to relieve symptoms of the menopause in women. As with all medicines, the MHRA and Commission on Human Medicines regularly review important new information on the safety of HRT; this public assessment report summarises the findings from their review in July 2007.

The evidence suggests that HRT may be associated with an increased risk of: coronary heart disease; stroke; venous thromboembolism (a dangerous blood clot in the arteries or veins); breast cancer; ovarian cancer; or endometrial cancer. These risks depend on how long HRT has been taken for, the woman's age and underlying health, and are lower in healthy younger women.

The balance of risks and benefits differs between individual women according to her need for treatment. For all women, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest possible time, and treatment should be reviewed yearly.

See also:

MHRA safety information webpage on HRT

This report presents the evidence that was available when the regulatory decision was made, showing a ‘snapshot’ of the clinical landscape at the time. However, any advice in this report remains current unless it is superseded by a more recent report (where relevant, this is indicated).

Page last modified: 11 February 2016