I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bio-Identical / BioIdentical Hormone Replacement Therapy - BHRT, Hormonal Optimization & Compounding Pharmacy in Costa Rica

Going through that time of your life - "the change" (menopause) & don't desire that old standby ways? MANY women are opting for Hormonal Optimization or BioIdentical Hormone Replacement Therapy - BHRT. This site is a DETAILED list of what doctors work with BioIdentical Hormone Replacement Therapy / Hormonal Optimization as well as a Compounding Pharmacy - just for you be you living in or coming to visit Costa Rica for Dental or Medical Tourism!! It's important to remember/realize that OPTIONS ARE IMPORTANT!!!

What IS Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy - BHRT / Hormonal Optimization?
I new to this concept but I heard that BioIdenticals are Semi-synthetic.

NOTE: Like in the states, MOST gynecologists & doctors in Costa Rica do NOT “believe” in bioidentical hormones, hence it can be challenging to find a doctor that knows how to prescribe bio-identicals but they ARE LEGAL in Costa Rica (not sure if the FDA finally approved them but hey - ANYTHING that’s approved in other countries before being accepted by the $$$ FDA $$$$/ which seems to be quite in bed with the let’s not help people TRULY heal pharmacuitical industry - it’s something I’d be willing to try!! & some people will say it’s a placebo effect - well - whatEVER works!!!!).

I've heard that the cremes/potions, etc. aren't as much of a savings in Costa Rica (vs. the U.S.) as other medical proceedures/treatments but, where you WILL save is at the doctors office/tests!!!


Dr. Livia Ortuno Pinto
Centro Medico San Jose
(2-221-5872 / 8-879-3777 / LOrtuno1155@yahoo.com)
Livia is GYN (formerly OB) that specialized in Infertility at the University of Minnesota (she can’t really do that in Costa Rica because the catholic church has blocked most forms of infertility solutions [only artificial insemination is legal here) who now specializes in Anti-Aging (she goes to the Anti-Aging Congress every year (around April 13-26). I've heard that she is quite in the know with the latest things & the feedback I've found on her has ALL been REALLY GREAT!!!! Not only is she a woman but lets just say - she's of the age to "understand" what you're going through.
OFFICE VISIT: 35,000-c, Anti-Aging Exam-75,000-c, Pap: 35,000-c, Ultra Sound: 35,000-c (pap & ultra-sound - 65,000-c)
LANGUAGE: Speaks GREAT English (she lived in the states & Europe [France & Belguim hence also speaks French])
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 10am-1pm-ish (if you don’t get her in her office after a few attempts, try her cell)
LOCATION: San Jose (Downtown) - Stand-alone building across the street from the front door of the old building leading into Clinica Biblica (next to the pharmacy) (many people know it as “Clinica Burstin”)

She is also partners in:
Amaral Spa
(2-288-6793 / 8-319-9154 / http://Amaral.SamiSolutions.com / info@AmaralSpa.com)
Day Spa
LOCATION: Escazu (San Rafael) - 250 mts. North & 150 East of the AM/PM (it’s at the end of a dirt road) - Her niece Stephanie runs it & speaks GREAT English.
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9am-7pm, Sat. 9am-5pm.

Dr. Paulo Castro Gamboa
Vitality Spa, Anti-Aging Medicine & Medical Tourism
(2-225-0767-NEW # / 8-358-7836 / 2-224-2400-beeper / DrPCastro@VitalityCR.com / coming soon -http://VitalityCR.com)
As young as Dr. Castro is, I've heard that anti-aging is his LIFE & he's CONSTANTLY learning new things!!! He was trained in Europa-Mallorca, Dusseldorf, Paris, Barcelona & he has GOOD energy!! Camille wrote: "Dr. Castro was great! The blood work I had done was extensive. Ended up finding out that I am allergic to wheat, so have been off of it since my meeting with him. Also found out that my hormones were low so I am on bio-identical hormone therapy (which involves rubbing in a tiny amount of cream, made just for me, every morning). He also recommended some supplements to take. I did not realize it, but his clinic is an "anti-aging" clinic. His goal is to make people feel 20 years younger than we are. When we were trying to find the office, anyone that we asked for directions also made a comment about him and what a wonderful doctor he is. I was very impressed with him and what he had to tell me." The clinic has a spa, psychologist, nutrionist, acupuncturist, bach flowers, homeopathy Vitamin C Drip, Quelation Therapy, an anti-aging iv drip Hyaluronic acid - used to restore joint pain, arthritis, gives good Collagan for your skin. They do a more holistic approach. Even though he's young - he's TOTALLY DEVOTED to his field & learning new things. He's the only one that does the saliva test. He also works closely to the BEST Microbiologist in Costa Rica - Dr. Alvaro Apestegui.

HOURS: Mon. 1-6pm, Tues.-Thurs.-10am-6pm, Fri.-10am-4pm, Sat. (with one Sat. a month off)-10am-3pm
OFFICE VISIT: starts at 35,000-colons (he often takes an hour++ for each visit)
LOCATION: Barrio Escalante (NEW LOCATION) (he'll email you a map)

Dr. Rodrigo Nunez
(2-229-0006 / RNunez04@gmail.com)
Dr. Nunez specializes in Internal Medicine & I believe the bulk of his business is making House Calls, working out of Hospital San Rafael in Alajuela & his home in San Isidro de Coronado in the evenings.
VISIT: Office-25,000, Housecalls start at 35,000 (depending on where you’re located). If he doesn't know it - he's GREAT with finding out.
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 5-7:30pm (in his home)
LANGUAGE: Good English & Spanish.
LOCATION: Coronado (San Isidro) - 200 mts West Municipalidad

Dr. Yasmin Chotocruz
Balance & Bienestar Natural Health Center
(2-524-2959 / http://BalanceYBienestar.com / DrChotocruz@gmail.com)
Dr. Chotocruz is a Naturopath specializing hormone replacement therapy. Many of the tests she does she sends to the States to process with equipment that’s not yet available in Costa Rica. She just returned to Costa Rica from working in the states for 10 years (in Portland, OR). Her office also has an Acupuncturist (Mauricio Carmona - DrMCtack@yahoo.com), a nutritional therapist & a physical therapist. The also hold Workshops & Courses (though currently they’re mainly in Spanish but if they get more English-speaking people interested, they’re open to those!)
OFFICE VISIT: starts at 35,000-c
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm
LANGUAGE: GOOD English & Spanish
LOCATION: San Jose (Guadalupe) - Oficentro Gaia, #209 - near Clinica Catolica

Dr. Kenneth Loaiciga (pronounced low-i-see-ga)
(2-257-4215 / Loaiciga@racsa.co.cr)
Specializes in GYN/OB & GYN Oncology (Cancer).
OFFICE VISIT: starts at 45,000 + 5,000-PAP
HOURS: Mon.-Tues., Thurs. & Fri. 11:30am-12:30pm & Mon.-Fri. 2-6:30pm
LANGUAGE: Good English & Spanish & German
LOCATION: San Jose (Downtown) - Avenida 4 & Calle 20 & 22. 200 mts South Hospital de Niños or 50 Mts. West Junta de Proteccion Social.




Have YOU been to any of these doctors?
I'd LOVE for you to share YOUR story/experience so we can share that also!!

Please e- me at CostaRicaResourceGuide@gmail.com



You can either go to one of the above mentioned doctors - OR - you can go to a MICROBIOLOGIST!!!

To me, for a test such as this or something as important - someone with the detailed training that this doctor has is who I'd go!! I don't know if I've EVER heard such RAVE reviews as I have on this doctor!! Basically - MANY have said he's THE BEST MICROBIOLOGIST / CLINICAL CHEMIST / BIO-CHEMIST in ALL of Costa Rica.

(http://Labiclin.com / Ava@Labiclin.com)

Dr. Alvaro was trained in the states at Tulane University & I hear when he & his bud/associate Dr. Paolo Castro get together, the conversations are out of this world as BOTH have such incredible PASSION for their fields & learning!!!!

LABS LOCATIONS: They have 3 locations*:
West (Main) - Sabana Este (2-233-5545 / 2-233-5557). HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 6:30am-6pm, Sat. 8-11:30am. Alvaro is mainly here so if you really want him, call him on his cell (8-344-5600)
East - Curridabat - next door to POPS Ice Cream (2-281-2063) - HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 7-11am & 2-6pm, Sat. 8-11:30am
San Jose (Downtown) (2-223-6643) - next door to the pharmacy inside Clinica Americana 1st floor in Biblica in the old building - next to the drug store.
*AND, he can make Housecalls (start at 5,000 [within San Jose] - depending on your area).

Alvaro aims to make your life easier (heck, just by the fact he has 3 offices tell you that!!) so he can give you a password where you (or your doctor) can get your results via the internet so you don't need to come back in.



NOTE: You MUST have a valid ORIGINAL prescription from a physician authorized to practice IN Costa Rica (i.e. licensed by the Colegio de Medicos) to get a prescription filled.

(http://PremaFarma.com / 2-225-3774 / 2-225-3794-fax / PremaFarma@ice.co.cr)
PHARMACIST: Dr. Ana Violeta Ovares de la Pena
PHARMACY HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9am-6pm
LANGUAGE: Ana speaks GREAT English plus Nidia Blanco is another pharmacist with her that also speaks GOOD English and Miranda can also help with English.

Dr. Ana Violeta Ovares of Prema Farma IS the ONLY Compounding-ONLY Pharmacy in Costa Rica Dr. Ana Violeta is the ONLY pharmasist in Costa Rica exclusively handling more than 300 formulas and 400 raw materials. They are members of PCCA (Pharmaceutical Compounding Centers of America) and are experienced in many pharmaceutical forms (methotrexate - an immune modulator & for rheumatoid arthritis, transdermal gels, troches, capsules, ointments, creams, gels, suppositories, syrups, douches, etc). Lactase (for lactose intolerate), Ursodiol (for liver ailments including gallstones ]), something similar to Miralax, =
They dedicate themselves to "orphan diseases" - like formulas that are kids strength, autisim,
If it's not available in the country - usually she can do it.

EVERYTHING that comes in to get filled by Ana MUST have a doctors prescription since she's not responsible for overseeing the treatment, etc.

GETTING LOW? DON'T WAIT!!! Sometimes things are on backorder.

On average - 24-48 hours (unless it's something not customized & popular that she already has made).

They recently installed a clean room that complies with USP that allows them to do injectables, chelation therapy, combination eye drops, etc.

They are registered suppliers to CCSS and their customers include all major hospitals in Costa Rica (which I would think would translate to cheaper prices going directly to them).

Their most requested preparations are:
• TRI MIX and SUPER TRI MIX (Alprostadil, papaverin & phentolamine for erectile dysfunction)
• Testosterone 1-10% transdermal gel
• BioIdentical hormones replacement therapy (creams, suppositories, drops, capsules)
• Thyroid hormones supplements (T3-T4)
• PEG 3350 (equivalent to Miralax for constipation control)

ORDERING / PAYING: They can take orders over the phone, fax or e-mail & can deliver it all over the country and overseas BUT, they MUST have an ORIGINAL prescription from a physician licensed to practice in Costa Rica & they will get that from you when they deliver it)!!! PAYMENT can be either cash, credit card or bank transfer (BCR) but if they deliver, you MUST have the card to get an imprint/signature. The delivery fee varies by location.

LOCATION: San Jose-Barrio Francisco Peralta - On Calle 29 between Avenida 8 & Avenida 10 - 50 meters South of Casa Italia. Additional Directions from (see http://CostaRicaBlueBook.com/pharmacy) - Take Avenida 10 from La Sabana. Keep going... the railroad tracks is at Calle 13. Continue East, pass the gas station, climb the little hill and once the hill is flat again, look for Calle 29. Turn left - north - at 29th, it's the third building to your right. A mustard yellow building. (Casa Italia will be 50m North so if you get to Casa Italia, turn around!)
ESPANOL: Su farmacia de preparaciones magistrales está ubicada 50 metros al sur de la Casa Italia, Barrio Francisco Peralta

La Casa Del Boticario
(2-588-0363 / 2-288-2156 / info@LaCasaDelBoticario.com)
Pharmacist - Carlos Barrantes.
Prema Farma makes his potions (meaning if you're in the West end, you can turn in your prescription here & pick it up 2-3 days later). They are a regular pharmacy as well. (THANX Camille!)
LANGUAGE: Carlos speaks English & Spanish
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9am-9pm, Sat. 9am-8pm
DIRECTIONS: Escazu - Plaza Itskatzu - close to Fogo Brazil Restaurant (Plaza Itskatzu is home to Hooters, Outback, etc. - across the AutoPista just West of Hosptial CIMA).

(thanx also to http://CostaRicaBlueBook.com for some of the info)


BOOKMARK THIS PAGE & keep checking back on it as, like with most of these posts,
they'll be enhanced as we find new info!!


Please tell EVERYONE you discover here that you found them through
Vicki's (aka the "Sarong Goddess")
COSTA RICA RESOURCE GUIDE (currently known as Living Life in Costa Rica)


1 comment:

canamjay said...

HI Vicki

Mi novia, Ileana has seen Doc Castro and had many tests.. it is a long process (and not cheap) to get analyzed properly, and subsequently get the corrective formulations... but well worth it.. she is on a good pathway.. I much prefer finding a licensed MD who works in and recommends these hormone therapies. She tells me he is everything you claim. Her initial interview was 2 + hours long!! BHRT is the way to go~~~ Jay