Historical perspective| Volume 3, ISSUE 2, P125-133, August 1981

Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic effects of vaginal oestradiol administration from silastic rings in post-menopausal women

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      Silastic rings releasing approximately 200 μg of 17β -oestradiol per day were inserted into the vaginas of 4 post-menopausal women for one to three 21-day periods. Plasma concentrations of oestrone and oestradiol were analysed by radioimmunoassay. The effect of circulating oestrogens on FSH, LH and sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels as well as on the endometrium was studied. During the first 24 h of treatment the plasma oestradiol levels were higher than the oestrone levels. But during the following days of the 21-day periods, the levels of the two oestrogens were almost equal, varying between about 100 and 200 pg/ml plasma, a pattern similar to that seen in fertile women. The release of oestradiol from the ring gave stable plasma oestrogen levels. The FSH and LH levels were clearly depressed while the SHBG levels did not change. Characteristics of oestrogen influence were found in endometrial biopsies. The rings were well accepted and could be inserted and removed easily by the women. Absorption of oestradiol from the vagina is good and more complete than after oral administration allowing lower doses to be used for treatment.


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