The Disturbing Source of One Popular Drug

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

March 3, 2021

I grew up in South Philadelphia, but I also got to spend long periods of my adulthood out in Lake Tahoe.

I had ridden ponies as a child when friends birthday parties had them for us kids to ride. When I got older I went to local stables to help out and ride real horses. When I moved to Lake Tahoe, I was finally able to have my own; his name was Lucky and he was a Tennessee Walker.

In case you’re not familiar… this breed has a pretty head with small ears and a long sloping shoulder. They have a smooth gait made famous in the show rings of Tennessee.[1]

Oh, he was gorgeous.

I used to go down to the corral I built to shovel away his manure.  Then, I’d spend hours just feeding my horse and brushing his shiny chestnut coat.

Every fall, we’d drive the horses down to Grass Valley from Lake Tahoe because it was too cold for them up there.

You know, it’s funny… I was a kid from the city, but I still fell in love with horses. It’s part of my childhood that I cherish the most.

That’s why I was so upset to learn about Premarin…

Premarin Isn’t Safe… But Docs Won’t Tell You

Okay, before we go on, let me give you a little bit of a warning… this might be hard to read. But if you are taking Premarin, you’ll want to know the whole story.

First a little history…

Premarin is a synthetic form of estrogen that was first developed by a Canadian pharmaceutical firm called Ayerst, McKenna and Harrison (later known as Wyeth.)

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The drug contains an unknown mixture of 10 active components but the complete recipe has never been fully released to the public.[2]

At first, it seemed like a miracle drug.  Women who were suffering from symptoms of menopause started taking Premarin to relieve their hot flashes, mood swings, and low libido.

Then, something disastrous happened.  (Well, it was disastrous for the companies trying to sell synthetic hormones anyway.)

A study called the Women’s Health Initiative looked at 16,000 women taking synthetic hormones to see if the drugs could also help protect women from heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

The results surprised everyone.

Opposite of what they expected, they found these drugs actually increased women’s risk!  After only six years of the study, the plug was pulled and Premarin was put on the blacklist.

Just as an example, women’s risk for endometrial cancer increased by a whopping 207% when put on synthetic hormones like Premarin.[3],[4]

But, as you know, money rules all.

And Premarin had just finished a year as the all time best selling drug in the U.S. with over $2 billion in revenue… before the plug was pulled.[5]

So, in 2003, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology revised the guidelines for Premarin and told doctors to start prescribing again but in lower doses for shorter periods of time.

This is the kicker… this low dose option was never proven scientifically to be safe.  Yet, doctors kept prescribing.

Today, Premarin is available through Pfizer and is a major drug prescribed by doctors.[6]

The Disturbing Source for Premarin’s Ingredients

The estrogen in these hormones actually comes from a surprising (and disturbing) source… horse urine.  Specifically, it comes from the urine of pregnant mares.

The clue is in the name:  Pre-mare-in… Pregnant Mare’s Urine.

Now, we get a lot of products from animals, so the truly upsetting part of this equation is how the horses are treated.

It’s truly awful.  The horses used to collect this urine are kept in tiny stalls day and night.  They don’t have room to even turn around.

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They are kept almost constantly pregnant so their bodies are producing the right levels of hormones.

Then, they have a long tube directly attached to the area under their tail to collect urine as they relieve themselves.  It’s uncomfortable on a physical level.

The horses are also emotionally abused.  With each pregnancy, the horses give birth to a foal who is immediately ripped away from its mother.

Now, the maternal nature of horses is very strong.  And when you take the foal away the mare suffers.  She makes horrible noises as she calls for her foal in confusion.

Meanwhile the foal is taken away to be fattened up.  If it’s a female foal, it might be kept so it too can be used for urine collection.  But most of the foals are simply sent off to slaughter where they are killed for food to be sent to Europe or China.

Each year, more than 50,000 foals are sent to slaughter houses.[7]  The makers of the drug simply say that the animals are sent to “overseas markets” and refuse to acknowledge any sort of responsibility.

I’ve spoken with patients of mine who are on Premarin and they are always shocked to learn about where their medication comes from.  I always tell them to consider making a switch.

Switching Hormone Types Makes a Lot of Sense

Honestly, there’s no sort of debate here.  Switching away from Premarin makes sense on every level.  First off, you wouldn’t be contributing to an industry that abuses horses.

Second, it would be much healthier for your body if you were to take a different form of hormone instead.

Let me explain…

The estrogen in Premarin is considered a form of synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT).  And these chemicals come with a wide list of side effects.

Synthetic hormone replacement therapy can increase the risks of heart disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, blood clots, dementia, and breast cancer.[8],[9]

A much better option is to use hormones that are identical to the ones naturally created in your own body.

These are called bio-identical hormones.  They work equally well for both men and women.

Even Suzanne Somers uses them!

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) works in a way that your body responds to them naturally.  You’ll get the results you’re looking for without the nasty side effects.

BHRT can help you achieve stronger bones, more energy, thicker skin, and better hair.  Plus, BHRT is much less expensive than synthetics!

So, here’s my recommendation.

First, ditch the Premarin.

Then, have your physician test your hormone levels before beginning any sort of replacement therapy.  I always recommend you start with the lowest possible dose — almost a micro-dose — and work your way up.  This will help you adjust to your renewed hormone levels.

You’ll feel better AND you’ll be doing a small part to reduce a horrible industry based on animal abuse.



[2] Vance DA Dph. Premarin: the intriguing history of a controverisal drug. Int J Pharm Compd. 2007 Jul-Aug;11(4):282-6. PMID: 23974785.

[3] Stumpf PG Pharmacokinetics of estrogen.[review] Obstet Gynecol 1990;

[4] Gorsky RD, Koplan JP, Peterson HB et al: Relative risks and benefits of

long-term estrogen replacement therapy: a decision analysis. Obstet Gynecol 1994; 83: 161-166

[5] Wall Street Journal, The Truth About Hormone Therapy, Erika Schwartz, Kent Holtorf, and David Brownstein, 16March2009, Available online:


[7] The Washington Post, Saved From the Slaughterhouse, DeFord, Susan, 6Nov2003, Available Online:

[8] Rossouw JE, et al. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002 Jul 17;288(3):321-33.

[9] Shumaker SA, et al. Conjugated equine estrogens and incidence of probable dementia and mild cognitive impairment in postmenopausal women: Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. JAMA. 2004 Jun 23;291(24):2947-58.