Soul legend Patti Labelle has distanced herself from the controversial hormone replacement drug she once promoted on TV after learning of its dangers.

The LADY MARMALADE singer was the TV spokeswoman for PREMPRO, which is prescribed to women with moderate to severe menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and for the prevention of osteoporosis.

The most common side effects include post-menopausal bleeding, hair loss and breast pain. However, it also potentially increases risks include heart attack, stroke, breast cancer and blood clots, according to researchers.

LaBelle says she didn't know that taking the medication carried such risks when she made commercials for the drug she once took regularly.

She says, "I felt really, really bad when I heard the news that it was dangerous so I haven't used my hormone replacement therapy, my Prempro, for about maybe a year since that controversy happened.

"I hope the folk don't think that I knew that it wasn't credible, because the reason I did the commercials is because I used it. I'd been using it forever."

LaBelle also said that she's presently not using any medication to deal with her "private summers", the singer's phrase for hot flushes related to menopause.

12/05/2003 09:17