The author gives a comprehensive overview of prescribed treatment alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), discussing lifestyle, diet, alternative therapies, patient support and nurse education. The author argues that treatments for the symptoms of menopause are complex and that nurse prescribers should be aware of the standard prescribed HRTs, complementary and alternative therapies, irrespective of the speciality in which they work. The author focuses on shorter term menopause symptoms specifically with a description of prescribed alternative treatments including clonidine, venlafaxine and paroxetine. The indications, precautions and side-effects of progestogens and gabapentin are explained, reinforcing that HRT and clonidine are the only prescribed therapies that are licensed for the treatment of menopausal vasomotor symptoms. Diet and lifestyle measures are briefly explored, supported by a critical discussion of the strength of evidence underpinning regular exercise, a healthy diet, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Current references are provided throughout for further information. The author encourages aesthetic nurses to question patients about any over-the-counter medications, herbal, or other preparations, with a detailed resource box of organisations and educational links for health practitioners. Whilst emphasis is placed upon aesthetic nurses maintaining a current basic awareness of many of the available therapies, in aesthetic practice, it would be advisable for clinicians to refer for specialist input with respect to patients requesting guidance with menopausal symptoms. The listed resources are nonetheless useful for wider reading around this specialist area.

Non-hormonal treatment options during the menopause.
Holloway D.
Anna Baker

BJN Aesthetic Nurse of the Year 2016.

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