HT patch causes fewer breast changes than pill

Transdermal hormone therapy causes fewer and less severe changes in breast density and less breast tenderness than oral HT, according to a study involving 202 postmenopausal women sponsored by Novartis.

Transdermal hormone therapy causes fewer and less severe changes in breast density and less breast tenderness than oral HT, according to a study involving 202 postmenopausal women sponsored by Novartis.

The two agents compared in the study were Estalis/Combipatch (Novartis, Basel, Switzerland) and Kliogest (Schering AG, Berlin, Germany).

The researchers found that mean breast density with the transdermal product was 38% versus 47% with the oral product (P<0.0001). Of the women using transdermal HT, 39% experienced no change in breast density versus 16% of the women using oral HT. Only 4% using the transdermal form had more than a 25% increase in density versus 16% of the women using the oral form. And 36% of the women in the transdermal group reported breast tenderness during the 1-year study versus 58% of the oral group (P=0.0002).