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Facts About SERMs

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs)
or Estrogen Receptor Agonists/Antagonists (ERAAs)

What the Clinician Should Know

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is pleased to present this outstanding educational content, encompassing several components, for clinicians who treat midlife women and who have questions about the benefits and risks of SERMs for their patients.

Learning Objectives

Background and Mechanisms
  • Define the general characteristics of SERMs
  • Discuss the differences in biologic effects of SERMs in different target tissues
Clinical Data—FDA-approved SERMs
  • Understand that SERMs have varying agonist and antagonist activities at the level of the estrogen receptor (ER) in target tissues
  • Differentiate among the FDA-approved SERMs (ERAAs) in their clinical usefulness to prevent and treat breast cancer, osteoporosis, and dyspareunia
  • Recognize that targeted agonist effects of SERMs are hot flashes, lipids, bone, vagina, and brain, whereas antagonist SERM effects are desired in breast and endometrium
Clinical Data—TSECs (tissue-selective estrogen complexes)
  • Define TSEC as a unique combination of an estrogen paired with a SERM to provide specific targeted effects for menopausal women
  • Describe the clinical effects seen with the TSEC conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene on vasomotor symptoms, sleep, bone, vagina, endometrium, and breast
  • Differentiate on basis of bleeding and breast tenderness between new TSEC conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene compared with traditional estrogen and progesterone hormone therapy
Clinical Scenarios and Prevention
  • To understand the efficacy profile of individual SERMs
  • To select specific SERMs for multiple menopause complaints

SERM Slides

 View a comprehensive presentation of 46 slides, including Key Concepts and Dive Deeper notes.

 View Slides

Discussion About SERMs With the Experts

This informative video is hosted by NAMS Board of Trustees Member and President-Elect Dr. Marla Shapiro. Dr. Shapiro is also the medical consultant for CTV News and on-air medical contributor to Canada AM. In this video, Dr. Shapiro interviews Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS Executive Director and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Midlife Health at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, about how clinicians can use SERMs to help their patients.



To find out more about SERMs, NAMS has provided a comprehensive list of references on the topic of SERMs (ERAAs).

Reference List

Test Your SERM Knowledge

To take a short (non-CME) 14-question self-assessment quiz, click here.


NAMS is grateful to Pfizer Inc. for the unrestricted educational grant funding that helped support the development of this education project.

SERMs Education Task Force

James H. Liu, MD, NCMP—Team Leader

Treasurer, The North American Menopause Society
Arthur H. Bill Professor and Chair
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
MacDonald Women’s Hospital
Department of Reproductive Biology
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Cleveland, OH
Dr. Liu reports Consultant/Advisory Board or Honoraria: Actavis, Charter Venture, Nuelle, Sermonix; Grants to the institution from AbbVie, Actavis, Agile, Ferring, Palatin, and Pharmacos

David F. Archer, MD, NCMP

Director, Intramural Clinical Research Center Force, CONRAD
Director, Clinical Research Center, Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine
Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Norfolk, VA
Dr. Archer reports Consultant/Advisory Board or Review Panel: AbbVie, Agile Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Healthcare, EndoCeutics, Exetis/CHEMO France, TherapeuticsMD, Teva/HR Pharma; Grants to the institution from AbbVie, Bayer Healthcare, EndoCeutics, and TherapeuticsMD.

JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, NCMP

Executive Director, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Division Director of Midlife Health
The University of Virginia Health System
Charlottesville, VA
Dr. Pinkerton reports Royalties: Henry Stewart Publications; Consultant/Advisory Board (fee to UVA): Pfizer; Grant/Research Support (fee to UVA): TherapeuticsMD

Gloria Richard-Davis, MD

Secretary, The North American Menopause Society
Division Director
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
University of Arkansas Medical Sciences
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Little Rock, AR
Dr. RichardDavis reports Consultant/Advisory Board: Pfizer

Nanette F. Santoro, MD

Board Member, The North American Menopause Society
Professor and E. Stewart Taylor Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Aurora, CO
Dr. Santoro reports Grant/Research Support: Bayer, Inc.; Stock/Ownership: Menogenix 

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