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Why we must end the use of pregnant mare’s urine in drugs

USDA Image PMU Horses

Every year, doctors prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) — also referred to as menopausal hormone therapy — to hundreds of thousands of women experiencing menopausal symptoms. One of the most widely prescribed drugs for HRT is made from animal waste. The drug is Premarin, an estrogen-therapy drug manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now a division of Pfizer), which also produces Prempro. It also has a highly similar drug, Aprela awaiting FDA approval.

These drugs contain conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) made from horse urine, specifically pregnant mare’s urine. Not only has this form of HRT proved dangerous to humans, but also the horses kept confined, pregnant and milked for their urine. So many of their foals, taken away once they are weaned or nearly weaned, often end their young days in the slaughterhouse.

QUOTE

“We are not spiritually unconnected from the drugs we take, or the pain and suffering that goes into their making.”

— ALICE WALKER

QUOTE

“Sadly, my father’s contribution to medical science resulted in a prescription for animal cruelty. I encourage woman of all ages to learn more about Premarin and its many alternatives.”

— RON WILSON, son of the doctor who started the estrogen revolution.

QUOTE

“We crush ’em and recycle ’em . . . just like aluminum cans.”

— PAT HOUDE, kill buyer and equine feed lot manager, regarding Premarin foals and mares.

Join the Int’l Fund for Horses in their March for PMU Horses right here on Tuesday’s Horse to find out what you can do to make a difference.

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16 thoughts on “Why we must end the use of pregnant mare’s urine in drugs”

  1. I first read about this over 12 years ago. NOTHING has changed…… I ddn’t take any drugs going through menopause and felt fine….. Please ask your Doctor what you are taking…. there ARE alternatives…

    1. Yes, sad Lynne isn’t it? And with the downsizing of farms, people think the issue is over. Far from it. It is as bad if not worse than ever. At least some PMU mares and foals were being rescued while they operated the PMU farms in N. America. In the meantime, here is our Alternatives list. http://www.horsefund.org/pmu-alternatives-to-cee-drugs.php . We are looking to see if there is anything new to add to this before posting a list here for March for PMU Horses.

    2. NARAC I believe is alive and well but maybe another name. Vivian cites excellent alternative modalities for treating the symptoms of Menopause. You must cut beef, pork, and chicken out of your diet. All of these animals are given steroids (to make them grow faster) and antibiotics as they are kept in disgusting close quarters. Eating these will definitely impact the symptoms of Menopause. They will make you unresponsive to certain antibiotics as well.

      Ugh.

      Elle

  2. There are bio-identical drugs that can be taken, and they are lifesavers, its not just for vanity by the way.

    Although, agreed that we do not need animal hormones anymore

  3. My Mom did not hit Menopause until she was 63! She took nothing, no HRT, she knew those drugs were terrible for women. She ate a lot of Yams, and other vegetables that have estrogen in them. It is not a disease. and it can be addressed by a good diet.

    Elle

  4. This a.m. after reading your article, I went to the FDA website (via their Facebook page). Though their blog appears to be inaccessible (I tried several times) I came up with an ombudsman’s email. Sent your article and discussed briefly and asked for the name of an appropriate person to correspond with on this issue. If and when I ever hear from them, I will post under these comments.
    Here’s the email:
    Horse Urine
    Date: March 4, 2012 10:11:02 AM CST
    To: CVMOMBUDSMAN@fda.hhs.gov

    Dear Ombudman/woman:

    I am looking for the appropriate person to send this information to at FDA. I found your name and understand you are not the appropriate person but represent someone who works in reconciliation, so I am starting with you.

    http://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/why-we-must-end-the-use-of-pregnant-mares-urine-in-drugs/

    This issue is of concern to a great many horse loving Americans. Do you have an animal welfare branch which speaks to the use of animals when producing drugs. These horse urine outfits do not appear to have much of an oversight that other animal facilities would. They are probably contracted out by the big companies (Wyeth/Pfizer) is my guess. The pregnant mares are discarded to slaughter with their foals and bodies are crushed and recycled. Please do you best to head me in the right direction to get this information to the proper personnel. I am a senior citizen living in Missouri who is an advocate of animal welfare but I am not associated with any group.

    Thanks.

    JANET FERGUSON
    Remember that if you shoot for the moon and miss you will still be amongst the stars.

    – Author Unknown

    I realize this approach lacks finesse and knowledge of the ropes, but on the chance there is someone to speak to I just ‘went for it.’ lol

    Also posted on Facebook. (Your article)

    PS Thank you for article and thank you commentors for your knowledge and research!
    :-D

  5. Excellent article-pinned to pinterest! That quote about crushing them like cans is just so awful…I can’t comprehend how someone can think that way :(

    Holly

  6. When did we start to treat menopause as a disease? When were these HRT drugs first developed and prescribed?

    As to side effects, my elderly mother was on HRT and was ready to have a stoke when the doctor finally noticed her blood pressure was skyrocketing. The Dr had simply left her on them for years and never checked again.

  7. Women have went through menopause for thousands of years or as long as modern females have existed. This is where the use of herbs was developed over time through trial and error. And there are a number of herbs over the counter that work very well, including some that work well helping you get to sleep. I think the main problem is that women have been taught that the doctor knows best and that can depend on whether the doctor happens to own stock in the company that is manufacturing the medications. I have at times been given samples of medication for a sore throat or sinus infection from the doctor’s office, all of us have at one time or another. These are given to the doctor to try out on his or her patients by pharmaceutical companies salesmen/women.

    But I have always wondered why cow pee wasn’t used instead of horse pee? Cows are kept pregnant year round and they produce the same estrogen that mares do.

  8. I hope this isn’t inappropriate, but since women want HRT so badly, why not conjugate estrogens using THEIR urine? I read there was a study done in Argentina a number of years ago involving urine from 11,000,000 women (a “pee line” I would have liked to see!) that may have proved it’s possible. Still can’t find the paper, but wouldn’t be surprised if Pfizer bought and buried it! I don’t know if the women even had to be pregnant! In these uncertain times, paying women for their urine could boost the family income, help send the kids to college, or finance that Hawaiian vacation. Women (and now men) will always want HRT, and demand their doctors supply it in a pill or cream for “convenience” (aka: laziness). There are a few exceptional allopathic physicians, including my own M.D. (a woman) who now recommend bioavailable phytotherapy over unnatural chemicals. Premarin and Prempro were initially marketed as “keeping women young and feminine”. Hello, Hollywood! I used Shaklee Mealshake (soy protein) to help transition through menopause. The only “side effect”? SURPRISE!!! – periods again on a regular basis! After about three months of dealing with my dreaded “friend”, I stopped using the shakes. The discomfort did not return, and bye-bye bleeding! I felt a great sense of relief and personal power after menopause, because I was no longer a slave to my “maiden” hormones. Since then, I’ve worn my increasing wrinkles as a badge of honor … proud to be a “crone”. Now THAT would look great on a t-shirt! We crones even have our own magazine: http://www.cronemagazine.com/

    1. Well, here’s the answer to my question about using pregant women’s urine. Apparently it did happen in the genesis of HRT. This is from an article published in 1945:

      “Kober and Marian (9) in 1936 isolated the principal oestrogen of human
      pregnancy urine and identified it as estriol glycuronide. Preparations containing
      oestrone or estriol glycuronide were available soon for clinical
      use. Although every woman over forty is a potential user of oestrogens,
      their use was limited. Several factors were responsible but the difficulties
      associated with the large scale collection of human pregnancy urine, resulting
      in limited supplies and high cost, were important. For obvious reasons,
      only women in low income groups are interested in collecting urine
      and as soon as other sources of income are available and their economic
      position improves, they cease collecting. This has been forcibly demonstrated
      during the war years when the quantity of human pregnancy urine
      collected has been markedly diminished.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1661006/pdf/vetsci00312-0003.pdf

  9. “Menopause is not a terminal illness, and Women are not the weaker, less intelligent sex or species. Our comforts should not be at the expense of animals forced into servitude. We – Women – are better than that.”
    auth. unknown

  10. No one, and I mean NO ONE, can justify the suffering of the mares and foals in the PMU industry. No amount of personal discomfort, irritation, lack of sleep, or other transient issue can justify what mankind and this hellish industry seeks to capitalize on via poison pill.

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