The Independent Pharmacy

Elleste Duet Side Effects: Everything You Need To Know

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 9 Apr 2024

The symptoms of menopause can be extreme and upsetting. Physical symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats and low libido, as well as distressing psychological effects such as depression, irritability and extreme mood swings, can have a substantial impact on everyday life.

Luckily, menopause treatments (hormone replacement therapy) like Elleste Duet can help to alleviate menopausal symptoms. But are there any Elleste Duet side effects you need to worry about?

In this article, we’ll be looking at the rare but possible side effects you may encounter when using this treatment — as well as the rumours around Elleste Duet weight gain.

Although with Elleste Duet side effects are unusual, it is still worth researching what to expect — from the more common effects to the more serious. We’ll also cover how to cope with any potential reactions.

Summary list of Elleste Duet side effects

Not everyone will experience side effects when they take Elleste Duet. Some users will not experience any negative Elleste Duet side effects at all and will have an extremely positive experience with this HRT.

However, everybody is different and can react differently to the same medication. There is always a chance that some side effects may occur, whether they are more common side effects, or rarer.

Below is a summary list of the known Elleste Duet side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Breast tenderness
  • Change in libido
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach cramps
  • Leg cramps
  • Breakthrough bleeding or spotting (bleeding when not on your period)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
  • Acne
  • Skin irritation like rashes
  • Back pain
  • Discharge from the vagina
  • Fluid retention
  • Weight gain
  • Womb spasms
  • Infection

These side effects can range from milder symptoms to more serious and can affect individual users of Elleste Duet differently.

If you are concerned about any of these effects (particularly if they feel severe, long-lasting or painful), then you should consult your doctor or pharmacist for further guidance.

To read customer reviews of Elleste Duet from real users, go to our Elleste Duet reviews page.

More common side effects and symptoms

There are some common side effects of Elleste Duet tablets that are more likely to occur. It usually takes a few weeks before you feel the benefits of HRTs like Elleste Duet; this is when you may notice side effects.

The most common Elleste Duet side effects that you may experience (affecting between 1 in 10 to 1 in 100 users) include:

  • Breakthrough bleeding
  • Headaches
  • Breast pain and tenderness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Skin irritation
  • Acne
  • Digestive disturbances (like bloating, nausea, indigestion and stomach pain)
  • Changes in libido
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Back pain

It is worth noting that these more common side effects usually do not need medical attention unless severe. These side effects are a result of your body’s response to the changing levels of hormones it is experiencing and often tend to go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the HRT.

If any of these side effects prevent you from carrying on with your day to day activities or continue after the first few months of using Elleste Duet, you should consult your doctor so that this can be looked into. They may suggest trying a different type of HRT (that will contain slightly different levels of hormones or a different synthetic version of the hormones used).

Serious side effects and symptoms

More serious side effects of using Elleste Duet tend to be uncommon, affecting between 1 in 100 and 1 in 10,000 people. These include:

  • Migraines
  • Vertigo
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Irregular brown patches on the skin (chloasma)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Blood clots in the blood vessels
  • Increase in the size of uterine fibroids/cysts
  • Disturbance to liver function
  • Jaundice
  • Alopecia

If you notice the signs or symptoms of any of the above, then you should stop taking the medication and consult your doctor immediately.

It is important to review your HRT with your GP and have regular gynaecological check-ups at least once a year.

Does Elleste Duet cause weight gain?

It is a common belief that taking HRTs like Elleste Duet will cause weight gain, but there is currently no clinical evidence to support this.

This weight gain is generally down to getting older and the menopause, rather than menopause treatments themselves. Weight gain tends to happen as you get older because you become less active and lose muscle mass, which slows down your metabolism.

Fluctuating hormone levels due to menopause add to this. It is now thought that decreasing oestrogen levels lead to us eating more and exercising less, also slowing our metabolic rate and increasing insulin resistance.

That’s not to say that Elleste Duet weight gain doesn’t happen. HRT may increase bloating and fluid retention, which leads to a small increase in weight (though generally no more than a few pounds).

Conversely, Elleste Duet may help you regulate your weight. The use of hormone replacement therapy can increase your resting metabolic rate, which helps to prevent menopausal weight gain and fat redistribution (around the abdominal area) associated with menopause.

Ultimately, there is no definitive answer when it comes to Elleste Duet weight gain or Elleste Duet weight loss. It can completely depend on each individual user’s personal response to the hormones in this type of HRT.

It is important after starting any new HRT course of treatment to review how things are going with your doctor and discuss any potential side effects like weight gain. If you feel that Elleste Duet is causing substantial weight gain, your doctor may recommend switching to another HRT that suits you better.

Allergic reactions to Elleste Duet

Allergic reactions to Elleste Duet are extremely unusual because the hormones substitutes used in Elleste Duet are so similar to the ones our bodies naturally create. However, you may have an adverse reaction to the particular hormones, or even the other ingredients used to make the tablet casing.

Signs of an allergic reaction may be rashes, skin irritation, sores, nausea, dizziness and flu-like symptoms.

If any of these symptoms occur, and you think you are having an allergic reaction, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Your doctor can then suggest an alternative HRT that will be less likely to cause adverse reactions.

How to cope with Elleste Duet side effects

There are a few methods that you can use to help you cope with Elleste Duet side effects:

  • Your body has produced similar chemicals for many years, but is now having to cope with less than you are used to. It may take a little time for you to get used to the new supply of these, but you should feel back to your ‘normal’ self in a very short time.
  • Take your daily tablet with food and water: this may help with feelings of nausea, as well as stomach complaints like indigestion and stomach pain or cramping.
  • Maintain a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet and avoid too much caffeine: this may reduce breast tenderness and pain. Placing a heating pad on your breasts or taking a warm shower can also help to reduce soreness.
  • Do regular exercise and gentle stretching exercises: this can help with leg cramps and aching. Exercise should be a mixture of cardiovascular and strength training. Strength training will slow the age related loss of muscle mass and may also increase bone density, another possible consequence of ageing.

Exercising regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet will help to combat any potential Elleste Duet weight gain that you experience due to fluctuating hormone levels.

If side effects persist or become severe, speak to your doctor. They may recommend switching to a different HRT type, lowering your dose, or trying a hormone patch instead of tablets.

Can Elleste Duet affect other medications?

Elleste Duet may interact with other medications and medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines. It is, therefore, important to speak to your doctor and inform them of any current medication you take.

Tell your GP or pharmacist if you have taken or plan to take any of the following medicines:

  • Epilepsy medicines (e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine)
  • Tuberculosis medicines (e.g. rifampicin)
  • HIV medicines (e.g. nevirapine, ritonavir, nelfinavir)
  • Anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin)
  • St John’s Wort

Your doctor will be able to advise whether you can combine Elleste Duet with other medications.


Elleste Duet is a type of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) used to treat symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats, low libido and extreme mood swings.

Elleste Duet has some known side effects, but these are usually mild and will subside within the first few weeks to months of taking this type of HRT, as your body gets used to the medication.

If you are worried about any of the side effects of Elleste Duet that we’ve mentioned above, contact your doctor for advice on how to proceed. They may suggest stopping your course of HRT and trying another variation.

If you have been prescribed Elleste Duet before by your GP, you can buy Elleste Duet from The Independent Pharmacy after completing a free online consultation.


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