Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Sex Hormones
Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD – Women’s International Pharmacy
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation and nervous system degeneration. Both estrogen and testosterone exhibit anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective effects when administered to MS patients in studies.
Male MS patients were treated with 100 mg of transdermal testosterone daily. At the end of the twelve month treatment period, cognitive performance improved while brain atrophy diminished. When female MS patients were treated with 8 mg of oral estriol daily for six months, evidence of lesions on MRIs decreased while brain function increased.
In addition, female MS patients are often plagued with chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs). Intravaginal estriol significantly decreases UTIs in postmenopausal women.
Further studies regarding hormones in the treatment of MS are ongoing.
- Gold SM, Voskuhl RR. Estrogen and Testosterone Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis. Prog Brain Res. 2009; 175:239-251.
- Raz R, Stamm WE. A Controlled Trial of Intravaginal Estriol in Postmenopausal Women with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections. N Engl J Med. 329(11):753-756.