Compare Estradiol Norethindrone vs. Prefest

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

Activella
(Estradiol / Norethindrone)

Prefest
(Estradiol / Norgestimate)

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 menopause symptoms and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) is effective at treating symptoms related to menopause and bone loss. It has a difficult dosing schedule to follow, but doesn't affect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels as much as other estrogen products.
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Side effects
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding 14%
  • Injury accidental 13%
  • Endometrial thickening 6%
  • Back pain 6%
  • Sinus inflammation 5%
  • Common cold 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Weight increase 3%
  • "stomach flu" 2%
  • Other events 2%
More Estradiol Norethindrone side effects »

The Prefest FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Prefest side effects »
How it works
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
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.Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) is a combination oral medicine that works 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. Norgestimate (a progestin) protects the uterus from damage.
Type of medication
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
Hormone replacement
Estrogen
Progestin
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Estrogen
Progestin
Prescription only
Available as
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
Risk factors for serious side effects
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
  • 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
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Women of childbearing age
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Family history of ovarian cancer
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
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Women of childbearing age
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Family history of ovarian cancer
Detailed Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

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.

See the FDA package insert
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

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.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
  • 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.
  • Mimvey brand is less expensive than other estrogen/progestin combination medicines.
  • 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.
  • Prefest (Estradiol / Norgestimate) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness).
  • Good for women with an intact uterus. The norgestimate (a progestin) protects against the risk of cancer in the uterus caused by estrogen treatment.
  • Doesn't affect your cholesterol levels as much as other estrogen treatments.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
  • 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.
  • More potential side effects since it exposes your whole body to two hormones, estrogen and norgestimate (a progestin).
  • Dosing schedule can be hard to follow with the 2 different kind of pills (estrogen-only and estrogen/progestin pills).
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Estradiol NorethindronePrefest
  • 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.
  • Follow the dosing schedule exactly to take the estrogen-only and combination estrogen/progestin pills.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about Estradiol NorethindroneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about PrefestSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert