Provera vs. Estradiol Norethindrone

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(Estradiol / Norethindrone)

Regulates your menstrual cycle and supplements estrogen treatments for menopause. Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) works well to regulate your menstrual cycle and stop irregular bleeding. It also protects the uterus from estrogen's harmful effects.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.
How it works
Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) contains medroxyprogesterone, a progesterone hormone that works to balance hormone changes in the body. In premenopausal women, it prevents thickening of the uterus lining and regulates your menstrual cycle. It's also added to hormone therapy to protect the uterus from the harmful effects of estrogen.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.
Type of medication
Hormone replacement
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
  • Amenorrhea
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Provera side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Provera »
  • 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 »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Family history of ovarian cancer
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • History of depression
  • History of liver problems
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) 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 Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
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
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
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.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
  • Can cause headache, weight gain, breast tenderness, or changes in mood.
No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) can be used to treat multiple hormone problems in women.
  • After menopause, taking estrogen raises your risk of uterine cancer. However, taking progesterone, like in Provera (Medroxyprogesterone), along with estrogen gives you the positive effects of estrogen, but also prevents it from damaging your uterus.
  • Women taking an estrogen/progestin combination medications have a lower risk of uterine cancer.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
  • You can't take Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) if you've had a hysterectomy (your uterus removed). You also can't take it if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, have unusual vaginal bleeding, or have a history of blood clots, certain kinds of cancer, stroke, heart attack, liver problems, or bleeding problems.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • The dose of Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) will be different depending on what you’re using it for, so take it exactly the way your doctor tells you.
  • Talk to your doctor every few months about using the lowest possible dose of Provera (Medroxyprogesterone). Since there can be a lot of long-term side effects, take it only as long as you need it.
  • Can cause headache, weight gain, breast tenderness, or changes in mood.
  • If you're taking Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) to regulate your period, you'll get withdrawal bleeding 3 to 7 days after stopping Provera (Medroxyprogesterone).
  • 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 ProveraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Estradiol NorethindroneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert