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Tibolone

Tibolone

Tibolone

Tibolone is a synthetic steroid hormone derived from the Mexican yam. The metabolites of tibolone have estrogenic, androgenic and progestogenic effects . Tibolone has oestrogen-like effects in the brain (preventing flushes), bone (preventing bone loss) and vaginal tissue

What is tibolone?

Tibolone is a synthetic steroid hormone derived from the Mexican yam

The metabolites of tibolone have estrogenic, androgenic and progestogenic effects [1,2].

Tibolone has oestrogen-like effects in the brain (preventing flushes), bone (preventing bone loss) and vaginal tissue (preventing dryness and soreness) [3,4].

Tibolone also has progesterone-like effects at the uterus to prevent endometrial thickening and subsequent bleeding. A woman who has not had a hysterectomy does not need to take a progestogen if she is taking tibolone.

Tibolone has testosterone-like activity that appears to play a role in enhancing women's mood and libido, although response is variable.

taking tibolone

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking tibolone it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

If you (or a close family member) have had breast cancer.

If you have had a cancer that you have been told is hormone-dependent.

If you have any unexplained vaginal bleeding.

If you have liver disease, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.

If you know you have high levels of fat (triglycerides or cholesterol) in your blood.

If you have ever had a blood clot in your leg or lungs, or if you have had inflammation of a vein (thrombophlebitis).

If you have angina, or if you have had a heart attack or stroke.

How to store tibolone

Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.

Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

What Tibolone is used for

Livial tablets contain the active ingredient tibolone, which is a synthetic steroid medicine used for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It mimics the activity of the female sex hormones in the body.

Livial contains tibolone, a substance that has favourable effects on different tissues in the body, such as brain, vagina and bone. Livial is used in postmenopausal women at least 12 months since their last natural period.

Can tibolone cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with tibolone. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

When to commence tibolone

  • Tibolone is suitable for women who have not experienced a natural period for at least

1 year. If taken sooner, irregular bleeding may be experienced.

  • Usually a woman using cyclical HT/HRT and experiencing a monthly bleed can start

tibolone after the oestrogen/progesterone phase of HT/HRT.

Postmenopausal women not currently taking HT/HRT, or who have had a

hysterectomy, may start at any time.

  • A woman taking HT/HRT that contains the same amount of oestrogen and progestogen
  • every day of the month can start tibolone the day after stopping the HT/HRT.

Side effects

A report in September 2009 from Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggests that tamoxifen, raloxifene, and tibolone used to reduce the risk of breast cancer significantly reduce the occurrence of invasive breast cancer in midlife and older women, but also increase the risk of adverse effects.

Tibolone can infrequently produce androgenic side effects such as acne and increased facial hair growth.These side effects have been found to occur in 3 to 6% of treated women.

A 2016 Cochrane review has been published on the short-term and long-term effects of tibolone, including adverse effects.

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