14 CLINICAL STUDIES
14.1 Effects on Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy
A 12-week, prospective, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted to compare the safety and efficacy of 2 PREMARIN Vaginal Cream (PVC) regimens 0.5 g (0.3 mg CE) administered twice weekly and 0.5 g (0.3 mg CE) administered sequentially for 21 days on drug followed by 7 days off drug to matching placebo regimens in the treatment of moderate to severe symptoms of vulvar and vaginal atrophy due to menopause. The initial 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase was followed by an open-label phase to assess endometrial safety through week 52. The study randomized 423 generally healthy postmenopausal women between 44 to 77 years of age (mean 57.8 years), who at baseline had ≤ 5 percent superficial cells on a vaginal smear, a vaginal pH ≥ 5.0, and who identified a most bothersome moderate to severe symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy. The majority (92.2 percent) of the women were Caucasian (n = 390); 7.8 percent were Other (n = 33). All subjects were assessed for improvement in the mean change from baseline to Week 12 for the co-primary efficacy variables of: most bothersome symptom of vulvar and vaginal atrophy (defined as the moderate to severe symptom that had been identified by the woman as most bothersome to her at baseline); percentage of vaginal superficial cells and percentage of vaginal parabasal cells; and vaginal pH.
In the 12-week, double-blind phase, a statistically significant mean change between baseline and Week 12 in the symptom of dyspareunia was observed for both of the PREMARIN Vaginal Cream regimens (0.5 g daily for 21 days, then 7 days off and 0.5 g twice weekly) compared to matching placebo, see Table 3. Also demonstrated for each PREMARIN Vaginal Cream regimen compared to placebo was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of superficial cells at Week 12 (28 percent, 21/7 regimen and 26 percent, twice a week compared to 3 percent and 1 percent for matching placebo), a statistically significant decrease in parabasal cells (-61 percent, 21/7 regimen and -58 percent, twice a week compared to -21 percent and -7 percent for matching placebo) and statistically significant mean reduction between baseline and Week 12 in vaginal pH (-1.62, 21/7 regimen and -1.57, twice a week compared to -0.36 and -0.26 for matching placebo).
Endometrial safety was assessed by endometrial biopsy for all randomly assigned subjects at week 52. For the 155 subjects (83 on the 21/7 regimen, 72 on the twice-weekly regimen) completing the 52-week period with complete follow-up and evaluable endometrial biopsies, there were no reports of endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial carcinoma.
Baseline at Week 12
|<0.001 ‡||--||<0.001 §||--|
14.2 Women's Health Initiative Studies
The WHI enrolled approximately 27,000 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women in two substudies to assess the risks and benefits of daily oral CE (0.625 mg)-alone or in combination with MPA (2.5 mg) compared to placebo in the prevention of certain chronic diseases. The primary endpoint was the incidence of CHD (defined as nonfatal MI, silent MI and CHD death), with invasive breast cancer as the primary adverse outcome. A "global index" included the earliest occurrence of CHD, invasive breast cancer, stroke, PE, endometrial cancer (only in the CE plus MPA substudy), colorectal cancer, hip fracture, or death due to other causes. These substudies did not evaluate the effects of CE-alone or CE plus MPA on menopausal symptoms.
WHI Estrogen-Alone Substudy
The WHI estrogen-alone substudy was stopped early because an increased risk of stroke was observed, and it was deemed that no further information would be obtained regarding the risks and benefits of estrogen--alone in predetermined primary endpoints.
Results of the estrogen-alone substudy, which included 10,739 women (average 63 years of age, range 50 to 79; 75.3 percent White, 15.1 percent Black, 6.1 percent Hispanic, 3.6 percent Other) after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, are presented in Table 4.
CE vs. Placebo
n = 5,310
n = 5,429
|Absolute Risk per 10,000 Women-Years|
|CHD events‡||0.95 (0.78–1.16)||54||57|
|Non-fatal MI‡||0.91 (0.73–1.14)||40||43|
|CHD death‡||1.01 (0.71–1.43)||16||16|
|All Strokes‡||1.33 (1.05–1.68)||45||33|
|Ischemic stroke‡||1.55 (1.19–2.01)||38||25|
|Deep vein thrombosis‡,§||1.47 (1.06–2.06)||23||15|
|Pulmonary embolism‡||1.37 (0.90–2.07)||14||10|
|Invasive breast cancer‡||0.80 (0.62–1.04)||28||34|
|Colorectal cancer¶||1.08 (0.75–1.55)||17||16|
|Hip fracture‡||0.65 (0.45–0.94)||12||19|
|Vertebral fractures‡,§||0.64 (0.44–0.93)||11||18|
|Lower arm/wrist fractures‡,§||0.58 (0.47–0.72)||35||59|
|Total fractures‡,§||0.71 (0.64–0.80)||144||197|
|Death due to other causes¶,#||1.08 (0.88–1.32)||53||50|
|Overall mortality‡,§||1.04 (0.88–1.22)||79||75|
|Global IndexÞ||1.02 (0.92–1.13)||206||201|
For those outcomes included in the WHI "global index" that reached statistical significance, the absolute excess risk per 10,000 women-years in the group treated with CE-alone was 12 more strokes while the absolute risk reduction per 10,000 women-years was 7 fewer hip fractures.9 The absolute excess risk of events included in the "global index" was a non-significant 5 events per 10,000 women-years. There was no difference between the groups in terms of all-cause mortality.
No overall difference for primary CHD events (nonfatal MI, silent MI and CHD death) and invasive breast cancer incidence in women receiving CE-alone compared with placebo was reported in final centrally adjudicated results from the estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow up of 7.1 years.
Centrally adjudicated results for stroke events from the estrogen-alone substudy, after an average follow-up of 7.1 years, reported no significant difference in distribution of stroke subtype or severity, including fatal strokes, in women receiving CE-alone compared to placebo. Estrogen-alone increased the risk for ischemic stroke, and this excess risk was present in all subgroups of women examined.10
Timing of the initiation of estrogen-alone therapy relative to the start of menopause may affect the overall risk benefit profile. The WHI estrogen-alone substudy, stratified by age, showed in women 50 to 59 years of age a non-significant trend toward reduced risk for CHD [hazard ratio (HR) 0.63 (95 percent CI, 0.36–1.09)] and overall mortality [HR 0.71 (95 percent CI, 0.46–1.11)].
WHI Estrogen Plus Progestin Substudy
The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy was stopped early. According to the predefined stopping rule, after an average follow-up of 5.6 years of treatment, the increased risk of invasive breast cancer and cardiovascular events exceeded the specified benefits included in the "global index." The absolute excess risk of events included in the "global index" was 19 per 10,000 women-years.
For those outcomes included in the WHI "global index" that reached statistical significance after 5.6 years of follow-up, the absolute excess risks per 10,000 women-years in the group treated with CE plus MPA were 7 more CHD events, 8 more strokes, 10 more PEs, and 8 more invasive breast cancers, while the absolute risk reductions per 10,000 women-years were 6 fewer colorectal cancers and 5 fewer hip fractures.
Results of the CE plus MPA substudy, which included 16,608 women (average 63 years of age, range 50 to 79; 83.9 percent White, 6.8 percent Black, 5.4 percent Hispanic, 3.9 percent Other) are presented in Table 5. These results reflect centrally adjudicated data after an average follow-up of 5.6 years.
CE/MPA vs. Placebo
n = 8,506
n = 8,102
|Absolute Risk per 10,000 Women-Years|
|CHD events||1.23 (0.99–1.53)||41||34|
|Non-fatal MI||1.28 (1.00–1.63)||31||25|
|CHD death||1.10 (0.70–1.75)||8||8|
|All Strokes||1.31 (1.03–1.68)||33||25|
|Ischemic stroke||1.44 (1.09–1.90)||26||18|
|Deep vein thrombosis§||1.95 (1.43–2.67)||26||13|
|Pulmonary embolism||2.13 (1.45–3.11)||18||8|
|Invasive breast cancer¶||1.24 (1.01–1.54)||41||33|
|Colorectal cancer||0.61 (0.42–0.87)||10||16|
|Endometrial cancer§||0.81 (0.48–1.36)||6||7|
|Cervical cancer§||1.44 (0.47–4.42)||2||1|
|Hip fracture||0.67 (0.47–0.96)||11||16|
|Vertebral fractures§||0.65 (0.46–0.92)||11||17|
|Lower arm/wrist fractures§||0.71 (0.59–0.85)||44||62|
|Total fractures§||0.76 (0.69–0.83)||152||199|
|Overall Mortality#||1.00 (0.83–1.19)||52||52|
|Global IndexÞ||1.13 (1.02–1.25)||184||165|
Timing of the initiation of estrogen plus progestin therapy relative to the start of menopause may affect the overall risk benefit profile. The WHI estrogen plus progestin substudy stratified by age showed in women 50 to 59 years of age, a non-significant trend toward reduced risk for overall mortality [HR 0.69 (95 percent CI, 0.44–1.07)].
14.3 Women's Health Initiative Memory Study
The WHIMS estrogen-alone ancillary study of WHI enrolled 2,947 predominantly healthy hysterectomized postmenopausal women 65 to 79 years of age and older (45 percent were 65 to 69 years of age; 36 percent were 70 to 74 years of age; 19 percent were 75 years of age and older) to evaluate the effects of daily CE (0.625 mg) -alone on the incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) compared to placebo.
After an average follow-up of 5.2 years, the relative risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 1.49 (95 percent CI, 0.83–2.66). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE-alone versus placebo was 37 versus 25 cases per 10,000 women-years. Probable dementia as defined in this study included Alzheimer's disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD) and mixed types (having features of both AD and VaD). The most common classification of probable dementia in the treatment group and the placebo group was AD. Since the ancillary study was conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), and Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
The WHIMS estrogen plus progestin ancillary study of WHI enrolled 4,532 predominantly healthy postmenopausal women 65 years of age and older (47 percent were 65 to 69 years of age; 35 percent were 70 to 74 years; 18 percent were 75 years of age and older) to evaluate the effects of daily CE (0.625 mg) plus MPA (2.5 mg) on the incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) compared to placebo.
After an average follow-up of 4 years, the relative risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 2.05 (95 percent CI, 1.21–3.48). The absolute risk of probable dementia for CE plus MPA versus placebo was 45 versus 22 per 10,000 women-years. Probable dementia as defined in this study included AD, VaD and mixed types (having features of both AD and VaD). The most common classification of probable dementia in the treatment group and the placebo group was AD. Since the ancillary study was conducted in women 65 to 79 years of age, it is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), and Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
When data from the two populations were pooled as planned in the WHIMS protocol, the reported overall relative risk for probable dementia was 1.76 (95 percent CI, 1.19–2.60). Differences between groups became apparent in the first year of treatment. It is unknown whether these findings apply to younger postmenopausal women [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), and Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].