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Premarin

Posted in General news by Glô! on the January 24th, 2007

Premarin,
or Wyeth’s
HRT drug

Tens of Thousands of Pregnant Horses Used and Abused by the Drug Industry

WHAT IS PREMARIN?

Not just a clever name, Premarin is made from PREgnant MARes urINe.
The drug is Premarin, an estrogen-therapy drug manufactured by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Inc., which also produces Prempro, an estrogen/progestin combination.
It is taken by millions of women worldwide to ease the symptoms of menopause. Both drugs contain horse urine, specifically pregnant mares’ urine (PMU).

Where does Premarin Comes From?

Each year, in more than 500 ranches in remote areas of North Dakota and Canada, thousands of horses are impregnated and then confined to cramped stalls so that their estrogen-rich urine can be collected and used by pharmaceutical giant Wyeth to make the drug Premarin for hormone replacement therapy.
Mares enter the collection barns in September and remain until March or April.
For most of their 11-month pregnancies, the mares used in Premarin production are confined to small stalls, leaving them no room to move freely or to lie down.

Pregnant mares are left standing for months on end with little or no exercise where they are hooked up to cumbersome rubber urine-collection bags that rub and chafe their legs often causing open, pus-oozing sores that are left untreated.

Guidelines state that horses should be offered water no less then two times per day. However, PMU farmers prefer to water as little as possible to keep the concentration of estrogen in the urine high as they are paid based on the concentration not the volume of urine collected.

This can lead to renal and liver problems and causes the mares to struggle and injure themselves during water-distribution times when they try to get to the water they so desperately crave.

Every spring, each mare gives birth to a foal. Their babies are taken away from them within days and they are quickly impregnated again. This cycle continues year after year until the mares become old, infertile, or crippled, at which point they are auctioned off for slaughter.

The Fate of the Foals

The fate of the tens of thousands of foals born on PMU farms each year—who are considered industry “byproducts”—is equally disturbing.
While some of the female babies are raised to replace their exhausted mothers, many of whom have been confined to PMU farms for many years, most of the remaining foals, along with worn-out mares, are sold to “kill buyers,” fattened, slaughtered and sold for their flesh in Europe and Japan.

A bitter pill to swallow

Premarin, the most popular variety of hormone replacement therapy, was approved as a menopause treatment by the FDA on May 8, 1942. From 1991 to 1999, it was the best selling drug in the United States.
The estrogen from a horse does not match the ratio of substances found naturally in the human body. Estrone for instance, one of the components of estrogen, is far higher in horses than it is for humans.

In 2002, researchers who were working on the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)—a series of government studies of more than 160,000 healthy postmenopausal women—abruptly halted a trial involving 16,000 women who were taking Premarin when it was found that HRT raises the risk of stroke in women by 41 percent, the risk of heart attack by 29 percent, blood clots by100% and the risk of breast cancer by 26 percent.
Some of the other side effects of Premarin® include edema, bloating, fluid retention, hairiness and increased migraines, asthma, and diabetes

Natural treatments

Doctors now largely agree that most women should avoid HRT and recommend that those who must use it in order to relieve severe symptoms associated with menopause use plant-derived estrogen, which uses soy or yam extracts instead of horse urine. These plant-based hormones are “bioidentical” to human hormones, without dangerous side effects.

Many women find that they can control hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms by making easy lifestyle changes—like eating a low-fat vegetarian/vegan diet and getting regular exercise—rather than contributing to animal suffering.

Animal Experiments Cost Women’s Lives

It had been widely prescribed for menopausal women for many years and was thought to be a very safe treatment for women in menopause. In recent years, however, it has come under scrutiny :
The WHI (Women’s Health Initiative ) findings contradicted the results of years of animal experiments that suggested that estrogen and progestin protect women from heart attacks and strokes. The HRT (or Hormone Replacement Therapy ) animal “models” were fundamentally misleading, because a 3-month-old rat whose ovaries have been removed (the standard post-menopausal “model”) is not the same as a 50-year-old human female who is going through a natural life phase. Wyeth relied heavily on these animal tests in promoting long-term Premarin use for all menopausal women and, as a result, put millions of women at risk.



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