Study Favors Premarin for Osteoporosis

Finds equine estrogen beats raloxifene at preventing bone loss

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MONDAY, April 26, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- When it comes to preventing osteoporosis, conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) seems to work better than raloxifene, says a study in the April 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

New Zealand researchers compared the effectiveness of the two drugs. Raloxifene helps prevent bone loss and increases bone mineral density and CEE, sold under the brand name Premarin, helps increase bone density. Before this study, there was little information comparing the two drugs.

The study included 619 postmenopausal women, average age 53, who'd had a hysterectomy. The women were randomly assigned to receive either 60 milligrams or 150 milligrams per day of raloxifene, 0.625 milligrams per day of Premarin, or placebo.

Over the course of the three-year study, researchers measured bone mineral density in the women's spines and femur (a large bone in the leg).

Bone density declined by 2 percent in the placebo group, remained stable in the two raloxifene groups, and increased by 4.6 percent in the CEE group.

"Raloxifene and CEE have beneficial effects on bone density and bone turnover, although effects of CEE are more marked," the study authors wrote.

The study was supported by a grant from Lilly Research Laboratories.

More information

The National Women's Health Information Center has more about osteoporosis.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, April 26, 2004

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