Can estriol be used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS)?

A study suggested that treatment with estriol may benefit people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Treatment with estriol is not a new concept; however, most of the data to date have consisted of anecdotal reports and small clinical trials.

Data have shown that during pregnancy there is a significant reduction in multiple sclerosis­­–related attacks (or relapses). In fact, during one study, the relapse rate in pregnant women dropped 70 percent during the third trimester. It has been proposed that the increased levels of estriol that are present during pregnancy may be responsible for this effect since estriol suppresses the immune system.

While the data from clinical trials are exciting, treatment with estriol is still experimental. Estriol is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of MS. Compounding pharmacies can compound the product, but a prescription from your doctor will be required. Because estriol is not approved by the FDA, it is not likely that insurance companies will pay for the product.

Estriol should not be considered a replacement for any currently approved disease­modifying treatment.

For information on ongoing clinical trials with estriol, talk to your neurologist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.