Nurses given expert advice on HRT shortages
Multidisciplinary menopause experts feature in the latest issue of Nursing in Practice to explain the current picture of HRT shortages in the UK and how best to help women navigate alternative options.
Dr Louise Newson collaborates with NHMS advisory board member pharmacist, Hayley Berry and advanced nurse practitioner Amanda Worsey in this article from Nursing in Practice. This practical article helps nurses understand the problems with availability of some HRT medications, predict when the shortages may ease and outline some suitable alternatives to offer instead.
The authors explain:
“In our experience the current shortages of HRT are mainly due to increased demand. Women are much more aware of the benefits of taking HRT as well as the treatment options due to media attention to the menopause and perimenopause, conversations with friends and recent interviews with medical experts and women sharing their experiences…In addition, healthcare professionals have been training and upskilling and are now more likely to prescribe HRT confidently. There is also greater awareness of the range of symptoms – it’s not just about hot flushes or amenorrhea.”
The following advice was given regarding when the situation may improve for the medications currently affected:
“It is hoped that at least some of the supply issues should ease over the coming months. The Government has introduced Serious Shortage Protocols (SSPs) on certain HRT medicines to help manage increased demand in the short term…There is intermittent disruption affecting certain product lines. The three medicines currently placed under SSPs are Oestrogel (estradiol 0.06% gel), Ovestin cream (estriol 1%) and Premique low dose tablets (conjugated oestrogens 0.3 mg/medroxyprogesterone 1.5mg modified-release tablets).”
You can read the article in full using the button below for more information on how to offer alternative medications.
Women need to be reassured at this time and the experts provided the following advice:
“Explain to patients that there is no need to stop taking HRT if their current treatment is out of stock. Discuss alternative options, reassure them about dose equivalents and ensure that they are involved in the decision to switch to an alternative preparation. Reassure them that the processes in place mean supply issues should hopefully resolve over the coming months, and encourage them to come back and let you know how they get on – regular follow-ups can ensure that alternative treatment is suiting them and also allow signposting to help them access resources.”