Menopause Home > Activella Side Effects

Headaches, breast pain, and vaginal bleeding are the most common side effects that have been reported with Activella. Side effects of the medication are typically mild, but it is possible to develop serious problems that may require medical attention. Rare but serious side effects of Activella that should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately include anxiety, blood clots, and depression.

An Introduction to Activella Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Activella® (estradiol/norethindrone). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Activella. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Activella side effects with you.)

Common Activella Side Effects

Activella has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and compared to the side effects that occurred in another group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common Activella side effects included:
  • Vaginal bleeding -- in up to 26 percent of women
  • Breast pain -- up to 24 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 22 percent
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (such as the common cold) -- up to 18 percent
  • Accidental injury -- up to 17 percent
  • Sinus infection -- up to 15 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 11 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 5 to 10 percent of people) included:
Weight gain is probably not a typical side effect of Activella (see Activella and Weight Gain).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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