Case scenario

Roxanne, a healthy 53-year-old woman of average build, presents with an 8-month history of bothersome menopausal symptoms, noting worsening hot flushes, night sweats and sleep disruption with fatigue that is affecting her work. Her mother had breast cancer at 75 years of age. Results of a recent mammogram were negative, and she has not had a hysterectomy. Roxanne has heard that hormone therapy may be harmful, but she worries about her poor functioning at work. How would you advise this patient?

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe the duration, changes to ovulation and hormone levels that occur during menopause
  • Identify physical and psychological symptoms experienced during peri- and post-menopause
  • Explain the pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for menopausal symptoms
  • Discuss how a pharmacist can translate knowledge into practice when assisting a patient to manage their menopausal symptoms.

Competency standards (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.3, 2.4, 3.2

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Introduction

Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation resulting from loss of ovarian follicular activity. Menopause is diagnosed retrospectively after 12 months of amenorrhoea. The average age of menopause diagnosis is around 51 years.2 Women younger than 60 years of age or within 10 y

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