Low Dose Hormones

A low-dose version of the combination hormone used by many women to treat symptoms of menopause now has federal approval.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a Prempro tablet with point-45 milligrams of estrogen and one-point-five milligrams of progesterone. The combination is a common treatment for hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause. But many women discontinued use after a research panel said the drugs carry a higher-than-expected risk of cancer and heart disease.

F-D-A Commissioner Mark McClellan says the combination still has important risks. He says it should be used at the lowest doses and least duration.