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Aygestin vs Provera

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Aygestin Information

Provera Information

Comparative Analysis


For patients dealing with hormonal imbalances and related disorders such as endometriosis or abnormal uterine bleeding, certain drugs that adjust levels of specific hormones can help in managing symptoms. Aygestin and Provera are two such drugs that are commonly prescribed for these conditions. Both work by mimicking the activity of progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone in the body. Aygestin, known generically as norethindrone, is a type of progestin medication which helps to regulate menstrual cycles and treat unusual stopping of the menstrual periods (amenorrhea). On the other hand, Provera (medroxyprogesterone) also falls under the class of medications called progestins. It's mainly used for treating irregular menstruation cycles or menopausal symptoms in women who have not undergone surgery to remove their uterus (hysterectomy).

Aygestin vs Provera Side By Side

Brand NameAygestinProvera
ContraindicationsShould not be taken if using or have recently used blood thinners, insulin or diabetes medication taken by mouth, rifampin, St. John's wort; barbiturates such as phenobarbital; seizure medicines like carbamazepine or phenytoin; or any other hormones including birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.Similar to Aygestin, should not be taken with blood thinners, insulin or diabetes medication, rifampin, St. John's wort, barbiturates, seizure medicines, or other hormones.
CostThe price for 30 tablets of Aygestin (5 mg) averages around $130, or generics starting as low as $0.27 per day.The price for 30 tablets of Provera (10 mg) is approximately $80, or generics with an average daily cost between $0.15 and $1.
Generic NameNorethindroneMedroxyprogesterone
Most Serious Side EffectSerious (sometimes fatal) blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and stroke.Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing; swelling in your face, lips, tongue or throat; hives; severe skin rash with blistering and peeling.
Severe Drug InteractionsBlood thinners, insulin or diabetes medication, rifampin, St. John's wort, barbiturates, seizure medicines, other hormones.Similar to Aygestin, including blood thinners, insulin or diabetes medication, rifampin, St. John's wort, barbiturates, seizure medicines, other hormones.
Typical DoseOral dosages range from 2.5-15 mg/day, typically effective at 5 mg/day for treating endometriosis and other menstrual disorders.Treatment typically starts with a dosage of 2.5–10 mg/day for treating abnormal uterine bleeding or amenorrhea, can increase up to 20 mg/day.

What is Aygestin?

Norethindrone (the generic name for Aygestin) is a type of progestin, a class of medications that function similarly to the naturally occurring hormone progesterone. It was approved by the FDA in 1982. Aygestin works by stopping the growth of the uterus lining during the menstrual cycle and simulating changes in the cervix to make it harder for sperm to enter and fertilize an egg. This medication is often prescribed as a contraceptive or to treat endometriosis, abnormal uterine bleeding, amenorrhea, and other conditions related with hormonal imbalance.

On another hand, Medroxyprogesterone (the generic name for Provera) also belongs to this class of drugs - progestins. It shares similar mechanisms with Aygestin but has been associated with stronger side effects such as bloating, breast tenderness, headache or weight change among others due its higher potency compared to Norethindrone.

What conditions is Aygestin approved to treat?

Aygestin is approved for the treatment of different conditions, including:

  • Endometriosis, a painful condition where tissue similar to the lining inside of the uterus grows outside of it
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding unrelated to menstrual cycle
  • Secondary amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods in a woman who had been menstruating but later stops menstruating)

How does Aygestin help with these illnesses?

Aygestin is used to manage conditions such as endometriosis and abnormal vaginal bleeding caused by hormonal imbalance, by mimicking the actions of progesterone in the body. It does this by binding to progesterone receptors present in various tissues throughout the body including the uterus and mammary gland. Progesterone is a hormone that plays an essential role in regulating menstruation, pregnancy, and embryogenesis amongst other things. In conditions like endometriosis or abnormal vaginal bleeding where there's a relative deficiency or imbalance of hormones, Aygestin can help restore balance and alleviate symptoms associated with these conditions.

Similarly, Provera also acts as a synthetic form of progesterone but differs slightly from Aygestin in its chemical structure which can affect how well it binds to progesterone receptors and thus may influence its overall effectiveness for certain individuals. Therefore, while both medications perform similar functions within the body due to their ability to mimic natural progesterone activity, individual response will vary depending on numerous factors including each patient's unique physiological makeup.

What is Provera?

Provera is a brand name for medroxyprogesterone, a type of progestin hormone. This medication works by altering the lining of the uterus and preventing ovulation during menstrual cycles. It aids in reducing the risk of endometrial hyperplasia while taking estrogens to replace lost hormones. First approved by the FDA in 1959, Provera has been used widely to treat conditions such as abnormal uterine bleeding and amenorrhea due to hormonal imbalance.

Unlike Aygestin - another form of progestin called norethindrone acetate - Provera does not have any known estrogenic or androgenic properties. Its side-effect profile varies from that of Aygestin mainly because it causes less water retention, minimizing weight gain often associated with other forms of progesterone like Aygestin. The effects on menstrual regulation can be beneficial for women experiencing irregular periods or heavy bleeding, especially if they are unresponsive to alternative treatments such as Aygestin.

What conditions is Provera approved to treat?

Provera has been approved by the FDA for a variety of hormonal conditions including:

  • Secondary amenorrhea: A condition where periods stop or become very irregular after previously being regular
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance when no organic pathology (like fibroids or cancer) is present
  • Endometrial and renal carcinoma: Provera can be used as part of palliative treatment in advanced stages. Remember, though, each patient’s needs are unique and all medication should be taken under medical supervision.

How does Provera help with these illnesses?

Progesterone is a hormone that plays significant roles in many processes in the body, including menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and embryogenesis. Provera, also known as medroxyprogesterone acetate, serves to mimic the action of natural progesterone. It helps regulate menstrual cycles, treat abnormal uterine bleeding and alleviate endometriosis symptoms by reducing the effects of estrogen on the uterus lining. The drug's effect on progesterone receptors can be beneficial for those who cannot tolerate or do not respond well to typical oral contraceptives (such as Aygestin). Additionally, it may be combined with other hormones for hormonal replacement therapy. Just like Wellbutrin works by increasing levels of norepinephrine available in the brain to help manage depression symptoms; Provera acts on progesterone receptors to help manage gynecological issues.

How effective are both Aygestin and Provera?

Both norethindrone (Aygestin) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (Provera) are progestins that have a long track record of successfully treating conditions like endometriosis and abnormal uterine bleeding, with their approval by the FDA only separated by a few years. They function through similar mechanisms as synthetic versions of progesterone, affecting menstrual cycles to alleviate symptoms associated with these disorders.

A 1991 double-blind clinical trial directly compared Aygestin and Provera in alleviating pain related to endometriosis. Both drugs demonstrated comparable efficacy in managing symptoms, showing no significant difference between patients receiving either treatment option.

In terms of side effects, a 2008 study comparing Aygestin against Provera found that women using Provera were slightly more likely to experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding than those on Aygestin.

A review from 2004 analyzing several studies on Aygestin indicated its effectiveness beginning from the first month of treatment. The same review also highlighted its favorable safety profile when compared to other progestins. Notably, it's well-tolerated across various populations including post-menopausal women who may be at higher risk for certain complications from hormone therapy.

On the other hand, a meta-analysis conducted in 2016 showed that while Provera is effective in reducing symptoms related to various gynecological disorders; it typically serves as an alternative treatment should others fail or cannot be used due to contraindications or intolerance. This is largely because although effective alone, data suggesting its efficiency alongside estrogen therapy remains inconclusive despite being commonly co-prescribed this way.

However, due to their unique pharmacodynamics profiles both can offer tailored treatments for individuals who did not respond well initially or need specific symptom management such as prevention of bone density loss common in menopause where estrogen replacement isn't suitable.

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At what dose is Aygestin typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Aygestin range from 2.5-15 mg/day, but research shows that 5 mg/day is typically effective for treating endometriosis and other menstrual disorders in most women. For those with abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance, treatment may be started on 2.5-10 mg/day for two weeks. Similarly, Provera doses range from 2.5-10 mg daily depending upon the specific condition being treated. Dosage can be increased after a few weeks if there's no improvement in symptoms, but under medical supervision only. In any case, the maximum dosage that should not be exceeded is 20mg/day for Aygestin and 10mg/day for Provera.

At what dose is Provera typically prescribed?

Provera treatment typically starts with a dosage of 2.5–10 mg/day for treating abnormal uterine bleeding or amenorrhea. The dose can then be increased up to 20 mg/day, depending on the patient's response and tolerance. The medication should be taken in one single daily dose, preferably at the same time each day to maintain consistent hormone levels in your body.

For endometriosis, it is generally prescribed as an initial daily dose of 10mg for about two weeks, which can then gradually increase by 5mg per week until reaching a maximum of 30mg per day according to individual requirements and tolerability. In these cases, Provera should always be taken under medical supervision due to its potential side effects that may need monitoring.

What are the most common side effects for Aygestin?

Notable side effects of Aygestin and Provera may include:

  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Changes in sleep patterns, including insomnia or drowsiness
  • General fatigue and weakness
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Nausea, bloating, stomach cramps
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Acne, hair growth, loss of scalp hair
  • Breakthrough bleeding;
  • Spotting between menstrual periods
  • Changes in menstrual flow.

It is important to note that everyone's body reacts differently to medication. While these are common side effects experienced by some patients taking Aygestin and Provera, not all individuals will experience them. If you have any concerns about potential side effects from either drug it is recommended you consult your healthcare provider for more information.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Aygestin?

While both Aygestin and Provera are used for similar purposes, their potential side effects differ. Here are some serious side effects you should be aware of while taking Aygestin:

  • Allergic reactions: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing
  • Unusual change in menstrual periods or bleeding between periods
  • Mental/mood changes (such as new/worsening depression) or unusual thoughts of self-harm
  • Dark urine or yellowing eyes/skin which can indicate liver problems
  • Persistent nausea/vomiting
  • Swelling hands/ankles/feet, increased thirst/urination

In rare cases, Aygestin might cause serious (sometimes fatal) blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, pulmonary embolism and stroke. Seek immediate medical help if these occur.

Symptoms include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath/pain in your chest/jaw/left arm/coughing up blood
  • Sudden dizziness/fainting/fast/pounding irregular heartbeat
  • Weakness on one side of the body/unbalanced feeling/confusion/slurred speech/vision changes.

Always consult with a healthcare professional if any concerns arise while using this medication.

What are the most common side effects for Provera?

Potential side effects from Provera include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
  • Swelling of hands or feet
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Skin color changes
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Mild rash
  • Increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair Furthermore, it could potentially cause a rapid heartbeat and feelings of nervousness. It's also important to be aware that some people have reported experiencing confusion while on this medication.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Provera?

When taking Provera, it's important to be aware of potential serious side effects. These include:

  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing; swelling in your face, lips, tongue or throat; hives; and severe skin rash with blistering and peeling.
  • Mental health issues like increased depressive thoughts or signs of a manic episode - characterized by racing thoughts, heightened energy levels, reckless behavior, feeling extremely happy or irritable for no apparent reason.
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior that could lead to confusion.
  • Visual disturbances including blurred vision, tunnel vision accompanied by eye pain or swelling and seeing halos around lights which should not be ignored.
  • Cardiovascular concerns like rapid heartbeat that is irregular can occur.

If any of these symptoms present while taking Provera you should seek immediate medical attention.

Contraindications for Aygestin and Provera?

Both Aygestin and Provera, along with most other hormonal medications, may worsen symptoms in people with certain health conditions. If you notice a worsening of existing medical issues or the onset of new ones while taking these drugs, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Aygestin nor Provera should be taken if you are using or have recently used blood thinners, insulin or diabetes medication taken by mouth, rifampin, St. John's wort; barbiturates such as phenobarbital; seizure medicines like carbamazepine or phenytoin; or any other hormones including birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. Always inform your physician about all medications that you're currently on to prevent harmful interactions with either Aygestin or Provera.

Certain substances will require a period to clear from the system before starting treatment with these hormonal medications - for instance, women who were previously on birth control pills need to wait at least one menstrual cycle after stopping those before starting treatment with these progesterone-like drugs.

How much do Aygestin and Provera cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price for 30 tablets of Aygestin (5 mg) averages around $130, which works out to about $4.33/day.
  • The price for 30 tablets of Provera (10 mg) is approximately $80, averaging to approximately $2.67/day.

Consequently, if you are prescribed a higher dosage range for Aygestin or Provera, then brand-name Provera is less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. It's important to remember that cost should not be the only consideration in determining which drug is right for you; efficacy and side effect profile are also critical factors.

Now let's consider the costs of generic versions:

  • Norethindrone (generic version of Aygestin), comes in packs from 1 to 1000 capsules with prices starting as low as $0.27 per day when purchased in bulk.
  • Medroxyprogesterone (the generic version of Provera), similarly comes with an average daily cost between $0.15 and $1 depending on purchase quantity.

As expected, these generics offer significant savings over their branded counterparts while providing similar therapeutic benefits.

Popularity of Aygestin and Provera

Norethindrone, commonly known by its brand name Aygestin, is a form of progesterone that was prescribed to approximately 1 million people in the United States in 2020. This hormone is often used for birth control purposes and to treat conditions like endometriosis or abnormal uterine bleeding. Norethindrone accounted for roughly 8% of all progestin prescriptions in the U.S.

On the other hand, Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), also known as Provera, was prescribed to about 3 million individuals in the USA during the same year. In terms of progestin prescriptions within America, MPA held a share just under 20%. It's primarily utilized for similar reasons as Norethindrone: contraception and managing menstrual disorders. The prevalence rate of both medications has remained relatively stable over the past decade.


Both Aygestin (norethindrone) and Provera (medroxyprogesterone) are progesterone-like hormones used in the treatment of conditions like endometriosis, abnormal uterine bleeding, and amenorrhea. They have long-standing records of use in patients with these conditions, backed by numerous clinical studies indicating their effectiveness. However, careful consideration must be given to the choice between them due to different contraindications. Both drugs work by altering the lining of the uterus which helps reduce or stop abnormal bleeding.

Aygestin is often considered as a first-line therapy for some gynecological problems such as endometriosis while Provera can be employed when estrogen therapy is already being utilized or if there has been insufficient response to first-line treatments.

Both drugs are available in generic form which represents significant cost savings especially for out-of-pocket payers. Both Aygestin and Provera may require an adjustment period meaning it may take some time before their full effects are seen.

The side effect profile is similar between both drugs; they're generally well-tolerated but carry potential risks including bloating, weight changes and mood swings among others. For both medications, women should consult closely with healthcare professionals particularly at start of treatment or if worsening symptoms like severe abdominal pain occur.