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Three new progestins have been identified as being likely to increase the risk of meningioma associated with this class of drugs.

After Lutényl, Lutéran and Androcur, three new progestogens have been identified by health authorities as likely to increase the risk of meningioma, a form of brain tumour.

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Progestins: what recommendations to limit the risk of meningioma?

Medicines prescribed in gynecological disorders

Progestins are drugs derived from a hormone, progesterone, which can be prescribed in gynecological pathologies (endometriosis, fibroids, particularly long and/or heavy periods, cycle disorders), in hormone replacement therapy (including menopause) but also in obstetrics (sterility due to luteal insufficiency, repeated abortions).

Problem: it has been shown that certain progestins (Lutenyl, Luteran and Androcur) increase the risk of meningioma, most often benign tumors located in the meninges. A study was therefore carried out to check whether other progestins also increased the risk of brain tumours.

Colprone, Surgestone, and Depo Provera join the list

“This study conducted in more than 18,000 women operated on for a meningioma and more than 90,000 “control” women between 2009 and 2018 shows that prolonged use of promegestone (Surgestone 0.5 mg), medrogestone (colprone 5 mg) or medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo Provera 150 mg/3 ml) is associated with an increased risk of meningioma. This is increased when the duration of use of these drugs at the dosage authorized by the marketing authorization exceeds 1 year “explains the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM).

Note, however, that Surgestone has not been marketed in France since 2021.

No risk with Duphaston and Utrogestan

In contrast, intrauterine devices (i.e. IUDs) containing levonorgestrel do not increase the risk of meningioma. “Similarly, taking progesterone (Utrogestan and generics) and dydrogesterone (DuphastonClimaston) was not significantly associated with an increased risk of intracranial meningioma surgery” adds the ANSM.

Source : Progestins and meningioma: no increased risk with levonorgestrel IUDs but confirmation of the risk for 3 new substancesANSM, June 2023

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