Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Menopause Health Center

Font Size

Non-estrogen Option for Menopause

Study Results Show Novel Menopause Drug May Benefit Millions of Women
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

May 23, 2008 -- New research results show that a non-estrogen drug called Ophena significantly improves symptoms of vaginal dryness and painful intercourse in postmenopausal women, raising hopes of an alterative to estrogen replacement therapy.

Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse, or dyspareunia, are two common symptoms of postmenopausal vulvovaginal atrophy -- thinning of the tissue and lining of the vulva and vagina. It affects up to 40% of postmenopausal women in the U.S.

"For millions of postmenopausal women, the symptoms of vulvovaginal atrophy represent a serious health issue that can have a profound negative impact on quality of life," James A. Simon, MD, CCD, FACOG, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University, says in a news release.

Over-the-counter non-hormonal lubricants and moisturizers are available to help with symptoms, but the most effective treatments for vulvovaginal atrophy contain the hormone estrogen. Estrogen replacement therapy has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Ophena is a type of drug called a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Pivotal clinical trial results presented this week at the 12th World Congress on the Menopause in Madrid, Spain, show that women who took Ophena tablets for 12 weeks had significant improvements in symptom scores of vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. The study involved 826 postmenopausal women at 80 different medical centers across the U.S. who were randomly assigned to one of two doses of Ophena or a placebo.

"These study results indicate that Ophena has the potential to be the first non-estrogen treatment option that provides a clear clinical benefit. We are working to advance the development program for Ophena to make this important therapy available to all women who would benefit from it," Robert Zerbe, MD, president and chief executive officer of QuatRx, says in the news release.

The researchers say the drug appears to be safe and generally well tolerated.

Today on WebMD

woman walking outdoors
How to handle headaches, night sweats, and more.
mature woman holding fan in face
Symptoms and treatments.
woman hiding face behind hands
11 ways to keep skin bright and healthy.
Is it menopause or something else?
senior couple
mature woman shopping for produce
Alcohol Disrupting Your Sleep
mature couple on boat
mature woman tugging on her loose skin
senior woman wearing green hat
estrogen gene

WebMD Special Sections