Compare Estradiol Norethindrone vs. Elestrin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Activella
(estradiol / norethindrone)

Elestrin
(estradiol gel)

Relieves menopause symptoms and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) is effective at treating symptoms related to menopause and preventing bone loss. The estrogen/progestin combo is a good options for women with an intact uterus.Relieves hot flashes due to menopause. Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) is easy to use, absorbs well into your skin, and is a good option if you don’t want to use estrogen pills or patches.
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Reviews & ratings
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Filter group. All currently selected
Reviews for Activella (estradiol / norethindrone)
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of people (All ages) say Activella (estradiol / norethindrone) is worth it
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say it works well
Not enough review data. Review it!
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Activella (estradiol / norethindrone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Elestrin (estradiol gel)
Not enough review data. Review it!
-50% worse vs. Activella (estradiol / norethindrone)
Not enough review data. Review it!
-50% worse vs. Activella (estradiol / norethindrone)
Not enough review data. Review it!
-50% worse vs. Activella (estradiol / norethindrone)
Have you used Elestrin (estradiol gel)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • Breast pain 24%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 18%
  • Headache 16%
  • Sinus inflammation 7%
  • Sleep difficulty 6%
  • Back pain 6%
  • Post-menopausal bleeding 5%
  • Uterine fibroid 5%
  • Infection viral 4%
  • Moniliasis genital 4%
More Estradiol Norethindrone side effects »
  • Common cold 3%
  • Breast tenderness 3%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 2%
  • Metrorrhagia 2%
More Elestrin side effects »
How it works
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) contains two hormones that work to balance hormone changes in your body during and after menopause. Estradiol (an estrogen) reduces hot flashes and night sweats and prevents bone loss, but can also harm cells in the uterus after menopause. Norethindrone (a progestin) protects the uterus from damage.Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) replaces estrogen hormones in your vagina that your body loses during menopause. Estrogen helps relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal problems.
Type of medication
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
  • Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Risk factors for serious side effects
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Duration of use
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Obesity
Detailed Activella (estradiol / norethindrone) risks & warnings »
  • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Duration of use
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Obesity
Detailed Elestrin (estradiol gel) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

Weight
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) is a mixture of estrogen and progestin. It could cause a higher risk of ovarian cancer, especially if you have a family history of it. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks versus the benefits of this medication.
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
Upsides and benefits
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness).
  • Good choice for women with intact uterus. The norethindrone (a progestin) protects against the risk of cancer in the uterus from estrogen treatment.
  • Lowers your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy. Make sure you also get enough calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.
  • Mimvey brand is less expensive than other estrogen/progestin combination medicines.
  • Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, vaginal dryness).
  • Good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • The pre-measured packets are easy to use and can be taken anywhere.
  • Fewer side effects than pills since there are lower amounts of estrogen in topical gels.
  • In studies, when people used low doses of Elestrin (Estradiol Gel), their symptoms started to improve in 5 weeks and they felt continued improvement over 8 to 12 weeks. People using the highest doses of Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) felt better in just 2 weeks.
  • Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) is available in 3 strengths.
  • Very few women (less than 1%) had skin irritation from the medicine.
  • Can lower your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy. Make sure you also get enough calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.
Downsides and risks
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • More potential side effects since it exposes your whole body to two hormones, estrogen and norethindrone (a progestin).
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
  • Increases your risk of endometrial and breast cancer.
  • If you have your uterus, you have to use Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) with another hormone called progestin to lower your risk of uterine cancer.
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • Can't be used in people with liver problems.
  • It's possible to expose other people to the estrogen before it's absorbed by your skin.
  • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Estradiol NorethindroneElestrin
  • Shouldn't be used forever. Talk to your doctor regularly to see if you still need treatment.
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Get emergency care if you notice unexplained swelling and pain in your limbs, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe headache, or changes in vision.
  • Apply to your upper arm and shoulder area after a bath or shower.
  • Don't put it on your face, breasts, vagina, or irritated skin.
  • Don't rub it in. Let the gel dry before dressing, and don't get the application site wet for at least 2 hours.
  • Wash your hands well after applying the gel.
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Get emergency care if you notice unexplained swelling and pain in your limbs, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe headache, or changes in vision.
Learn more
More about Estradiol NorethindroneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Activella (estradiol / norethindrone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ElestrinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Elestrin (estradiol gel)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it