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The Truth About Premarin

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  • The Truth About Premarin

    Premarin, an estrogen product, remains popular in the USA despite harsh and overwhelming evidence that it's production is cruel. Premarin creams are also notorious for causing burning on the vulva due, in part, to the large number of preservatives found in the product. I think it's very important that we all look for more humane and pure options. In any case, the United Animal Nations has a section on Premarin that is eye-opening and will, I hope, encourage you to ask for other therapy from your physician. - Jill

    About Premarin
    For more than 40 years, Premarin was the most popular drug in the United States, with doctors writing an estimated nine million prescriptions to treat menopausal symptoms. Because Premarin is made with estrogens extracted from pregnant mares’ urine (PMU), thousands of mares suffer to produce this bitter pill, and their byproduct foals don’t fare much better.

    What happens to PMU mares?
    The mares are forced to stand in narrow stalls with urine collection devices strapped to them for months on end. The stalls are deliberately narrow to prevent pregnant mares from turning or lying down and detaching the collection cups. Their water intake may also be restricted to concentrate the estrogen in the urine, which can lead to swollen legs, sore hooves and other health problems. Many of these mares get little or no exercise for the six months they are forced to stand in the barns. And, when they are too tired, too old or too surly to stand on the "pee lines," the reward for their years of service is often a trip to the slaughterhouse.

    What about the foals who are born every year?
    The manufacturers of PMU drugs would like us to believe that the foals born as a result of these pregnancies are sold as companion animals. But there just aren’t enough homes for an estimated 7,000 unwanted foals each year. The fillies sometimes grow up to replace their worn-out mothers. But the colts are weaned from their mothers too early, and frequently sold to slaughter, their meat shipped to Europe for human consumption.

    Don’t PMU ranchers have to comply with humane standards of care?
    Unfortunately, no official body regulates the PMU industry. The North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC) represents horse breeders and ranchers engaged in the collection of pregnant mares' urine. NAERIC produces a Code of Practice that outlines care guidelines for PMU mares, but following these guidelines is voluntary. And, one glance at the guidelines shows that they are woefully inadequate. For example, the recommended minimum stall width is only five feet, and exercise is recommended only "as necessary.”

    What about the health risks to women?

    The Women’s Health Initiative recently completed a 15-year study that revealed taking PMU drugs like Premarin and Prempro may lead to serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, dementia and breast cancer. Given these findings, millions of women have stopped taking PMU drugs. Yet many continue to rely on these drugs to alleviate menopausal symptoms and Wyeth, the manufacturer of Premarin, continues to market them aggressively.

    Please read Premarin: The Bitter Truth for more details, including alternatives for treating menopausal symptoms.

    What can women do?

    1. Talk to your doctor about ways to alleviate menopausal system through lifestyle and diet changes, or discuss synthetic or plant-derived HRT alternatives such as:


    For every 150 women who stop taking Premarin, one mare is spared from the “pee line” and seven or eight byproduct foals will not be slaughtered for their meat.

    2. Spread the word about the Premarin industry and the dangers these drugs pose to women. Our Premarin: The Bitter Truth brochure contains valuable information and is great to leave behind at your doctor's office. Order copies today at the UAN Store, or download a PDF.

    Would you like to talk with someone about your IC struggles? The ICN now offers personal coaching sessions that include myself, Julie Beyer RD on the diet and Dr. Heather Howard on Sexuality.

    Looking for books, magazines & reports on IC? Please visit the ICN Shop at: Your ICN subscription & purchases in our shop support these message boards, chats and special events. BECOME AN ICN ANGEL TODAY!

    Please remember that the information on the ICN is provided with the understanding that ICN, its founder, staff, volunteers, and participants are not engaged in rendering medical or professional medical services. We cannot and do not give medical advice. Only your personal physician can do this for you.

  • #2
    Thanks Jill.

    As an activist for animals, I am shocked by this. I will tell everyone I know and add that to my no products tested on animals/no fur/free range meat, cage free hen life style! There is no good reason horses should suffer when there are so many other options out there!

    IC diagnosed officially via cysto/urodynamics 1/26/07

    Grade II Endometriosis diagnosed via lap 12/11/07

    "Fall down seven times, Stand up eight."

    "Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think."

    Current Treatments:
    Interstim Since 5/25/07!
    Birth Control


    • #3

      Thank you for publishing this vital information.

      When I found out that I was premenopausal 18 years ago, my husband began researching HRTs online so we could decide together what road I would take to manage my symptoms. I chose to include him on the decision since he would be the one who had to live with me while I went through the change.

      Because of the fact that Premarin was made from horse urine and that it might up my chances at having health problems, we both decided that I would go the natural route. Thank God my symptoms were not terrible and I was able to get through to postmenopausal without having to take any drugs.

      Shopping??? Did someone mention shopping? I'll get my hat... ;-)

      Where I can be found most days.

      Link to the ICN Patient Handbook:

      Link to the IC Diet:

      IC Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.


      • #4
        Thanks for sharing, Jill. I found that article very informative. We often don't know what's going on behind the scenes.


        • #5

          Premarin produces more estrone in the body than any other HRT product. Estrone is the harmful metabolite that is implicated in breast cancer. It is a bad choice for any woman.
          Premarin's cohort in crime in Provera. Provera should be outlawed. This is the progestin that caused so much breast cancer they stopped the study. Still, Doc's are still RX Premarin and Provera, often in a combo pill.


          Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
          Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


          • #6
            That is beyond AWFUL! I'm speechless.
            current meds:
            cytotec 200mcg twice daily

            ONLY 3 MEDICATIONS!!! YAY! Would never have dreamed this is possible

            dx: hashimoto's thyroiditis 1998
            dx: interstitial cystitis via cystoscopy with hydrodistention and biopsy 2003
            dx: endometriosis 2003
            dx: innapropriate sinus tacchicardia 2005

            meds tried but failed:
            elavil (6months)- severe tachycardia
            elmiron (1yr6mo.)- no improvement, nausea, hair loss, stomach ulcers
            a bunch of others

            Me and my best friend's baby (also my Godson!)


            • #7
              I've been on Premarin .625 since I was 29 and am now 46. Without it I get horrible painful headaches, hideous night sweats and hot flashes that make me feel like I'm going to pass out. My GYN thinks it's ok for me to be on it. I had a total hysterectomy at 29. new GP Dr. thinks it's bad and I should stop taking it. I don't really trust the "natural herbal" remedies.
              Any advice? I thought Premarin had estrogen in it not "estrone"? My RX is just Premarin there is no Provero etc. in my medication. I am positive of that. I thought about asking my Dr. to switch me to Estratab? Could that be a better choice? It sounds horrible what they do to these animals! I had NO idea. It's certainly inhumane in my opinion.
              Last edited by blueeyes46; 05-18-2007, 03:11 PM.


              • #8
                How about taking one of the bio-identical hormones such as Estrace? No urine involved.

                I, miserably, did fill an RX for Premarin in my haste to find a cure for my problem but when sanity re-gained itself in my head - I never used it and asked for an RX for Estrace, instead, which I began taking this week.


                • #9

                  Please let me know how the Estrace works for you!!

                  You can pm too if you'd like so I can ask you some questions about how you feel on the new medication.

                  Thanks for the advice


                  • #10
                    Hi blueeyes,

                    There are lots of other options out there if you want to email me at [email protected] ? Also, I can send you more information about the mares and foals and what the process is actually like. Even the article above is very sugar-coated and much less harsh than the truth.


                    • #11
                      Clarifying Estrogen, Estrone, Estradiol

                      The term Estrogen covers the three types of estrogen: 17-beta Estradiol or E2 which is made in the ovary and is the primary estrogen in human female,
                      estrone or E1 which is made in ovary, liver and fat tissue, and E-3 which is Estriol and is produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
                      Premarin contains equilin estrogens in high amounts that are unique to a horse. It also has small amounts of estradiol and estrone. What will active the human bodys estrogen receptors is the 17-beta estradiol, but the remaining equilin hormones still have to be processed by the liver. Hence the bi products of assimilation and excretion produce a lot of estrone, which is the estrogen that is the most strong and considered to be the most dangerous for potential over stimulation of breast tissue.
                      Estrone is the predominant estrogen in postmenopausal women because it is made by the liver and body fat not the ovaries. Even a woman who has had a hyster can produce estrone. Many researchers think the estrone is why PM women have such a high risk of breast cancer-although this is still debated among researchers.
                      Estriol is normally not present in the system unless you are pregnant, and women who take it thinking it is a safer type of estrogen, are not fully informed. It takes such a high dose of estriol to make a difference in symptoms that the equivalent dose of another type of E, would have the same or better effect.
                      Premarin uses have to take a higher dose of equinine estrogens to get the right amount of 17-beta estradiol to fit into the hormone receptors.
                      17-beta Estradiol is what is in Estrace, vivelle, is bio-identical. All bio-identicals may not be 17-beta estradiol. But, thats another story.


                      Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
                      Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


                      • #12
                        I'm Appalled, can't think of another word for it.


                        • #13
                          Blue Eyes

                          Estratab contains a synthetic estrogen called "esterified estrogen" which is made in the lab. Ethinyl estradiol is the synthetic estrogen in the BC pill. Both of these forms of estrogen convert to a very high estrone level in the body and have very little 17-beta estradiol in them, hence you have to take a higher dose to be effective. Synthetic estrogens do not contain horse urine, only Premarin does.
                          Plain 17-beta estradiol the main human female estrogen is in Estrace, transdermal estradiol patches such as Vivelle, and generic products. Generic estradiol runs about 14.00 for a months supply.
                          A dose of .625 Premarin is about equal to 1 mg Estrace, 1.25 Premarin to about 2 mg Estrace.
                          Hope this helps clarify some of this?


                          Meds: Melatonin 3mg @ bedtime if needed. Estrogen 1.5 mg troche and 0.1 mg Estrace cream.
                          Diagnosis: IC, PFD (both in remission)


                          • #14
                            Fast non-hormonal relief for painful sex, dryness, atrophy and BV. Rebalance your vaginal ecology quickly. Invented by an OBGYN. Free shipping.

                   (Note: If you'd like to view the pic you should be able to click the link. -vm/Kim)

                            This filly was being rendered while still alive. I'm sorry if this is too graphic for you all. But so many people use these products without finding out what they are supporting. Like I posted below, please remove it if you feel it's too inappropriate, but I think people should at least explore it for themselves.

                            (Note:I edited out the actual photo as it may be too graphic for some users, but left the link for now so that those who are interested can go right to the site.)
                            Last edited by vm; 05-21-2007, 05:48 AM.


                            • #15
                              HRT to prevent IC flare?

                              I have a question for any of you gals who had IC before menopause and then became menopausal. I personally would prefer not to take homonal supplements, however, my IC seems to flare just before my period, so I have to take a BCP's to keep it quiet. I know that soon, I will need to stop BCP's and I am afraid that going through menopause could make my IC worse. Has anyone had a flare associated with menopause, and if so, do you know of any relatively safe hormone replacement that could be used to stabilize IC? I know not everyone is hormone sensitive, but I definitely am, and would like to have a strategy before I stop taking hormones. Sounds like premarin is a bad option.