Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) given by injection or administered orally or topically can improve the QOL of patients with menopausal symptoms. Because patient comfort is influenced largely by the dosage form, pharmacists should understand the properties of each dosage form and provide appropriate information to individual patients. In this study, we investigated the understanding of medicines and diseases of patients receiving HRT and discuss the approaches pharmacists can take to improve patients' adherence. Thirty-seven patients (mean age 51.7±3.6 years) taking estradiol gel (Divigel® 1 mg) completed a questionnaire asked by their pharmacist. Responses indicated 70% of patients failed to use the gel as prescribed, and they had poor knowledge of both the sites where the gel shouldn't be applied and appropriate measures to take if having forgotten to apply the gel (43% and 11% correct understanding, respectively). Since the duration of HRT treatment for menopausal symptom is 2-5 years, patients should be administered the minimum effective dose in the shortest amount of time. Hence it is important to maintain patients' adherence particularly in this limited administration period. HRT guidelines define HRT outcome as not only improvement of menopausal symptoms but also suppression of bone resorption, improvement of glucose and lipid metabolism, and reduced prevalence of Alzheimer's disease. Accordingly, pharmacists should facilitate proper adherence to HRT to improve and maintain women's QOL in the perimenopausal period, necessitating they actively provide pharmaceutical care such as preparing useful instructions patients can repeatedly use and periodically checking patients' understanding of their HRT medications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science