Compare Premarin vs. Elestrin

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

Premarin
(Conjugated Estrogens)

Elestrin
(Estradiol Gel)

Treats low estrogen, relieves menopause symptoms, and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) relieves menopausal symptoms and prevents bone loss. It's an oral hormone replacement, so it can have a lot of side effects, and it's important to think through the benefits and potential hassles of this drug before using it.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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Button Group. All currently active
4.779220779220779Premarin
Reviews for Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens)
50%
of people say Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) is worth it
43%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects
PremarinElestrin
  • Abdominal pain 5%
  • Back pain 4%
  • Muscle weakness 4%
  • Breast pain 4%
  • Passing gas 4%
  • Thick vaginal discharge 3%
  • Vaginal moniliasis 2%
  • Nervousness 2%
  • Itching 2%
  • Leg cramps 2%
More Premarin side effects »
  • Metrorrhagia 7%
  • Breast tenderness 4%
  • Common cold 3%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 2%
More Elestrin side effects »
How it works
PremarinElestrin
Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) is an oral medication that replaces estrogen hormones during and after menopause. Higher levels of estrogen lower menopause-related hot flashes, flushing, night sweats, vaginal problems, and bone loss.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
PremarinElestrin
Hormone replacement
Estrogen derivative
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Estrogen derivative
Prescription only
Available as
PremarinElestrin
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for (click to learn more)
PremarinElestrin
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
Risk factors for serious side effects
PremarinElestrin
  • 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)
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol
  • Age 50 or older
      • Prior severe allergic reaction to Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens)
      • Women of childbearing age
      • High levels of triglycerides
      Detailed Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) 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)
      • Smoking
      • Obesity
      • High blood pressure
      • High blood sugar
      • High cholesterol
      • Age 50 or older
      • Women of childbearing age
        Detailed Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        PremarinElestrin
        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
        • Does not expose your partner to estrogen during sexual acitivities like vaginal estrogen creams.
        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
        PremarinElestrin
        • Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness).
        • Lowers your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy. Make sure you also take enough calcium and Vitamin D.
        • Does not expose your partner to estrogen during sexual acitivities like vaginal estrogen creams.
        • Can help relieve symptoms of prostate cancer or advanced breast cancer in some people.
        • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.
        • 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
        PremarinElestrin
        • More potential side effects than estrogen creams since it exposes your whole body to estrogen.
        • Increases your risk of uterine and breast cancer.
        • If you have your uterus, you have to take Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) 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.
        • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
        • 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.
        • It's possible to expose other people to the estrogen before it's absorbed by your skin.
        • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
        • Can't be used in people with liver problems.
        • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        PremarinElestrin
        • Take Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) at the same time each day. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, but if it’s almost time for your next dose, take only that dose.
        • Use the lowest dose possible of Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) and take it only as long as needed. Talk to your doctor regularly to see if you still need treatment. If you’re taking Premarin (Conjugated Estrogens) only for vaginal symptoms or to prevent bone loss, there are other medicines that can work better with fewer side effects (like a vaginal cream for menopause symptoms, or non-estrogen medicine for bone loss).
        • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating and breast tenderness.
        • Get emergency care if you notice swelling or pain in your lower legs, sudden shortness of breath, or an unexplained severe headache.
        • Tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding.
        • 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.
        • Get emergency care if you notice unexplained swelling and pain in your limbs, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe headache, or changes in vision.
        • Tell your doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding.
        Learn more
        More about PremarinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about ElestrinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert