Evista Stops Growth of Uterine Fibroids
Osteoporosis Drug May Offer New Alternative for Premenopausal Women
Jan. 14, 2004 -- High doses of a drug commonly used to treat
osteoporosis may help stop the growth of uterine fibroids and offer a new
alternative treatment for premenopausal women with the condition.
Up to 40% of women have uterine fibroids, which are abnormal
growths on the wall of the uterus. In some women, uterine fibroids can lead to
pain, irregular bleeding, urinary problems, and possibly infertility.
Birth control pills can help with the pain and bleeding, but
treatment options for premenopausal women with the condition are otherwise
limited. Hysterectomy is the only treatment that can effectively put an end to
Estrogen is known to affect the growth of uterine fibroids. In
this study, researchers examined the effects of Evista, a drug that blocks the
effects of estrogen in the uterus.
Evista Stops Fibroids
The study, published in the January issue of the journal
Fertility and Sterility, tested the safety and effectiveness of a high
dose of Evista (180 milligrams per day) vs. no treatment in 25 premenopausal
After three months of treatment researchers found that
treatment with Evista stopped the growth of uterine fibroids. Compared with no
medical treatment, women who took Evista experienced a decrease in fibroid size
of about 22%. The drug was well tolerated and no significant side effects were
Evista is part of a class of drugs known as SERMs (selective
estrogen receptor modulators). While Evista acts similarly to estrogen in
certain parts of the body -- such as fighting osteoporosis by helping to
prevent bone loss -- the drug blocks estrogen in other parts of the
body, such as the uterus.
The reduction in uterine fibroid size found with Evista was
slightly less than found with other drugs currently used to shrink fibroids,
such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists.