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U.S. FDA approves Pfizer drug for menopause symptoms

People walk past the Pfizer Inc. headquarters in New York, January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
People walk past the Pfizer Inc. headquarters in New York, January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - U.S. health regulators approved Pfizer Inc's menopause drug Duavee, which the company hopes will reduce hot flashes with fewer side effects than older hormone-replacement therapies.

The Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it approved the drug to treat women with moderate to severe menopause symptoms and to prevent post-menopausal osteoporosis, a bone disease which can increase the risk of fractures.

The drug, which Pfizer is developing with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc, combines bazedoxifene - which belongs to a class of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMS - and conjugated estrogens, which are derived from the urine of pregnant horses and contained in Pfizer's menopause drug Premarin.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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