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Premarin® stands for Pregnant Mares' Urine (PREgnant MARes' urINe) or PMU.

Premarin (including Prempro, Premphase, Prempac, and Premelle) is a drug made up of conjugated estrogens obtained from the urine of pregnant mares -- put out in many forms (pills, creams, injections, patches, vaginal rings) and is used to reduce the symptoms of menopause in women or women who have had a hysterectomy.

It is also prescribed to nearly eliminate the risk of osteoporosis (the brittling of bones) and reduce the chance of heart disease in women over 50.

Millions Of Women Taking The Drug

1 million women in the United States were still taking Prempro pills as of June 2003, down from the 3.4 million taking the drug before the negative Women's Health Initiative study results became known.

This is a reduction of 25% from the high figure of approximately 12 million women taking PMU based medications in 1999.


What you can do

·              If you take Premarin, ask your doctor to prescribe a non-Premarin HRT drug or better still, bio-identical hormones.

·              Consider plant-based alternatives to Premarin.

·              Try the natural approach to menopause: a healthy diet which includes phytoestrogens such as ground flaxseeds, soy, and red clover, regular exercise and stress management with techniques such as meditation or time out.

·              Educate others about the cruelty behind the PMU industry


Write to:

Your local newspaper protesting about the cruelty.


Ayerst Laboratories

Gregory Place

PO Box 148

Parramatta NSW 2124


Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories

POB 8299,

Philadelphia PA 19101



Refer to the new synthetic drug (CES) they developed from soybeans and yams in 1996

(25% cheaper than Premarin) and ask whether they will be seriously considering taking a new direction in developing more synthetic drugs that do not involve cruelty to horses.


The Hon. Kay Patterson

Minister for Health

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2500

Demand that any drug containing equine urine imported to Australia carry labelling stating its derivation, to allow women to make an informed choice in taking the drug.


The Hon. Mark Vaile

Minister for Trade

Parliament House,

Canberra ACT 2500


Ask him to consider banning the import of any drug containing equine urine to Australia on the grounds of gross inhumanity to horses.

Make these points:-

  • As HRT is listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, doctors can prescribe it as a cheaper osteoporosis treatment for women who have not already suffered a fracture.
  • Alternative osteoporosis treatments are available through the PBS only to those women who have already had a fracture – women usually have fractures over the age of 60.
  • Women can be prescribed only oestrogen if they have had a hysterectomy, but there remains a small risk of breast cancer (after ages of 45 – 50 the risk of breast cancer increases and the longer a woman takes HRT – more than 5 years – the greater the risk).
  • The US Food and Drug Administration caution “the urinary oestrogen excretion by pregnant mares is widely variable”. Studies have shown that the amount of oestradiol – one of the active hormones in Premarin – can vary by almost 400% from one batch to the next.


Some commercially available products include:

Containing the herb black cohosh, is a product of over 40 years of clinical research. International studies have shown consistent relief of menopausal symptoms, or call 1800 64 1242)

Containing red clover, provides a mixture of 4 plant isoflavones, believed to bring relief from hot flushes and sweats experienced by menopausal women. (Based on red clover extract with 4 plant isoflavones (contained in natural foods – red clover, lentils, chickpeas, soy and tofu, which benefit human health)

Also based on red clover, but with a different mix of isoflavones, is marketed as being more suitable for women after menopause. It is said by the manufacturer to help maintain bone health and bone density as well as good levels of cholesterol in the body.

Maca Root
The root works to promote optimal functioning of the hypothalamus and the pituitary, improving the functioning of all the endocrine glands (book, published in Lima, Peru 1997 by Dr. Gloria Chacon de Popivici).

Dr. J. Malaspina (a Lima cardiologist) has been using Maca in his practice for more than a decade and says, “Maca does not cause the ovaries to atrophy, as does conventional hormone replacement therapy”.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens (Arizona) says: "Whenever possible, I prefer to use Maca therapy rather than hormone replacement therapy because HRT actually ages the body by diminishing the hormone-producing capability of the glands".

Maca, a dehydrated, cruciferous root vegetable, may be imported without the need for approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Women’s Menopause Formulas

Meno Ease
Manufactured by Naturopathia (Naturopathica) – contains 6 herbs which, while not the subjects of clinical trials, have been known to help menopausal symptoms.

Wild Yam Creams*
Are marketed as natural progesterone and may help some women’s symptoms, even though they do not actually contain any progesterone.

Ogen, Progynova, Estigyn, Oestrodial, Oestroderm, Kolpon
Oestrodial is extracted from soy beans or wild yams (tablets, creams, pessaries, patches and implants)

Adding phytoestrogens to the diet would contribute towards balancing hormones and maintaining health

For more severe menopausal symptoms it is advisable to consult a naturopath, homeopath or herbalist for a tailor-made prescription made from more concentrated natural products than those available commercially.

Professionally prescribed alternatives to Premarin include:

  • Practitioner-only herbal tablet formulations such as Femi-Nan (Eagle), Femme Complete (Pharma foods), Unifem (Nutrition Care), Cimicifuga (Phytomedicine) and so on may be purchased from Naturopaths and herbalists.  These tend to contain higher levels of the herbs and other useful ingredients.

  • Prescription herbal formulas made up for individual symptoms by Chinese, Ayurvedic or Western herbalists or Naturopaths.

  • Homeopathic remedies, such as Pulsatilla, Sepia, Sul-ac and so on can be useful in treating menopausal symptoms and are best prescribed by a qualified Homeopath.

  • Bioidentical hormone creams or troches may be necessary in cases of extreme symptoms.  These are prescribed by a few naturally oriented general practitioners and are made up by compounding pharmacists.  They are far preferable to synthetic hormones.

  • Acupuncture has been found useful, especially for hot flushes.

Links for Reference


Prognosis for Premarin


North American Equine Ranching Information Council 



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