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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Estrogens and Progestins (Ovarian Hormone Therapy)

Estrogens and Progestins (Ovarian Hormone Therapy) (Systemic)

Description and Brand Names | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

  • Estrogen-progestin - 17 beta-Estradiol and norgestimate tablets; Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone tablets; Estradiol and norethindrone tablets
  • Ovarian hormone therapy agent - 17 beta-Estradiol and norgestimate tablets; Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone tablets; Estradiol and norethindrone tablets
  • Osteoporosis prophylactic - 17 beta-Estradiol and norgestimate tablets; Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone tablets

Estrogens (ES-troe-jenz) and progestins (pro-GEST-ins) are female hormones. They are produced by the body and are necessary for the normal sexual development of the female and for the regulation of the menstrual cycle during the childbearing years.

The ovaries begin to produce less estrogen after menopause (the change of life). This medicine is prescribed to make up for the lower amount of estrogen. Estrogens help relieve signs of menopause, such as hot flashes and unusual sweating, chills, faintness, or dizziness. Progestins help to regulate the effects of estrogens.

Estrogens are prescribed for several reasons:

  • to provide additional hormone when the body does not produce enough of its own, such as during menopause. They can also help to relieve a genital skin condition called vaginal or vulvar atrophy.
  • to help prevent weakening of bones (osteoporosis) in women past menopause.

Estrogens may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

There is no medical evidence to support the belief that the use of estrogens will keep the patient feeling young, keep the skin soft, or delay the appearance of wrinkles. Nor has it been proven that the use of estrogens during menopause will relieve emotional and nervous symptoms, unless these symptoms are caused by other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or hot flushes.

Estrogens and progestins are available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • 17 beta-estradiol and norgestimate
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone
    • Tablets (U.S.)
  • Estradiol and norethindrone
    • Tablets (U.S.)

Brand Names

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S. -

  • femhrt 2
  • Ortho-Prefest 1
  • Activella 3

Other commonly used names are:

  • Ethinylestradiol [Ethinyl estradiol]
  • Ethinyloestradiol [Ethinyl estradiol]
  • Norethindrone [Norethisterone]


For quick reference, the following estrogens and progestins are numbered to match the corresponding brand names.

This information applies to the following medicines:
1. 17 beta-estradiol and norgestimate (seh-ven-TEEN BAY-tuh es-tra-DYE-ole and nor-JES-ti-mate)
2. Ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (ETH-in-il es-tra-DYE-ole and nor-eth-IN-drone)
3. Estradiol and norethindrone (es-tra-DYE-oleand nor-eth-IN-drone)


Next section


Estrogens and Progestins (Ovarian Hormone Therapy): Before Using

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