Okay, first of all, I apologize for this book I should edit my response but I'm so angry, It is so good to find someone to talk to about this. Some background. I'm 51, go to Kaiser, thin, relatively healthy, active. I thought I was skating through menopause, it was challenging not knowing when I was going to have a period but other then that I had no significant issues. Then about 2 years ago I developed SEVERE hot flashes. 20-30 a day, couldn't think straight, couldn't work etc. You know the drill. So I asked for hormonal help asked for bio identicals. Was told kaiser didn't have any. They put me on estrogen and progesterone and I was told it should be fine for a shorter period of time, the real problems are when you are on it for year.
I was concerned as my family is riddled with cancer. LIterally every person on my mom's side of the family has died of it, except her. So i'm very hesitant about taking anything that could increase the chances, but I was so desperate I went on it, thinking it would be just for a little while. But when I'd try to go off it, the symptoms would return with a vengence and a little while became a year. Then a year and half. I kept asking to be moved to bioidenticals and kept getting a run around.
At first it was great, no symptoms, in fact I felt normal for a change in that there were no mood swings, it was like when you're in the middle of your cycle and you're not pmsing or about to pms. Just felt good. Then I started having terrible side effects, heart pounding, insomnia, always hungry, terrible headachs. Told doc thought it was progesterone, nobody would listen. Regular doctor made me have heart tests, holt monitor etc. Finally got ob/gyn to move me to estradial which is bioidentical to estrogen, but she said Kaiser didn't have a bioidentical to Progesterone yet.
I went off progesterone and then was a mess, emotional, bleeding, hot flashes. Went back on, as it would build up in my body over time, the stupid side effects kicked back in. I think I slept a total of 20 hours one month. it was ridiculous. It was like I was on speed. I beg doctor to write me a prescription for prometrium so i can get it from an outside compounding pharmacy, and i'm told they can't do that. I'd have to pay out of pocket to see a nonkaiser doctor, to get the script. Then about that time Kaiser started selling prometrium. Hallelujah. They switch me, im' in heaven, its awesome. I sleep like a baby, i feel like a human, i'm productive at work, no mood swings, no heart palpitations. Then 6 months later, I have my first period in 8 months and I start having mild palpitations and some insomnia. I don't make the connection (i find out later that they switched me to generic without telling me) then in october the symtoms get worse, come on with a bang, back almost going to hospital with heart pounding, can't think, can't work, hungry constantly, can't sleep. I check bottle and they switched me back to progesterone without telling me. I'm livid. I email doc and am told, its the same as prometrium because its microionized. I say, well what ever the delivery mechanism, it still says "progesterone FOR PROMETRIUM" not the other way around on the bottle.
I check with a nice pharamcist at kaiser and he shows me exactly when I was switched, and by who. I can't help but wonder if the docs are getting some kind of kick back from one of the drug companies. They definitely do NOT want to encourage women to take bioidenticals. Yet the tests prove if women my age are on progesterone medication for years, it increases heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.
8 emails back and forth between 2 different doctors. They admit they put me on a generic in june and switched me back to progesterone in October without telling me and the act like it was the pharmacy and the pharmacy says it came from the doctor."
This AFTER I had told the doctor about all the problems I had had with the medication. I feel betrayed and I'm furious. Yet they are trying to make me feel like there is zero difference between these pills OR if I don't buy that, that prometrium doesn't work... when I'm here to tell you, it does.
You have to take responsibility for your own health, and research and stay on top of your medication because they will switch you out without warning you.