Q: I’ve been using compounded bioidentical HRT for a while now, but don’t live near a compounding pharmacy, so I find it inconvenient and somewhat expensive. It seems like it would be so much simpler to use one of the FDA-approved bio-HRT products. Can I make this change safely?

A: Most women can convert from compounded bio-HRT to FDA-approved products without much difficulty. Here are some possible scenarios. You could, for example stop using your compounded products and the next day start a brand name estradiol product such as a patch or gel, along with a separate dose of progesterone (Prometrium) if you still have your uterus or need it to target certain symptoms or low levels. If you have had a hysterectomy, you could consider low-dose progesterone cream or a botanical product containing chasteberry to complement the estradiol. Initially, at least, try not to worry about any other hormones your compounded product may have contained. Of course, any such transition will be smoother if you support yourself nutritionally, especially if there is a change in potency. Remember, this switch is your choice and desire to simplify, so try it and see how it goes. Along with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, the basic estradiol and progesterone combination is oftentimes enough. You can certainly consider our Herbal Equilibrium as well, to complement your use of HRT, along with our pharmaceutical-grade nutritional support.

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