Compare Climara vs. Elestrin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Climara
(estradiol patch)

Elestrin
(estradiol gel)

Treats low estrogen, relieves menopause symptoms, and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. Climara (estradiol patch) is a treatment for low estrogen that is used only once weekly, and it may have fewer side effects than oral estrogen pills.Relieves hot flashes due to menopause. Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) is easy to use, absorbs well into your skin, and is a good option if you don’t want to use estrogen pills or patches.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Climara (estradiol patch)?
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Have you used Elestrin (estradiol gel)?
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Side effects
ClimaraElestrin
  • Breast pain 1%
  • Sinus infection 1%
  • Stuffy nose 1%
  • Swelling of arms and legs 7%
  • Stomach pain 3%
  • Pain 1%
More Climara side effects »
  • Common cold 3%
  • Breast tenderness 3%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 2%
  • Metrorrhagia 2%
More Elestrin side effects »
How it works
ClimaraElestrin
The Climara (estradiol patch) replaces estrogen that your body loses during and after menopause. Higher levels of estrogen help relieve symptoms of menopause and prevent bone loss.Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) replaces estrogen hormones in your vagina that your body loses during menopause. Estrogen helps relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal problems.
Type of medication
ClimaraElestrin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ClimaraElestrin
  • Patch
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for
ClimaraElestrin
  • Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
  • Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Risk factors for serious side effects
ClimaraElestrin
  • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Smoking
Detailed Climara (estradiol patch) 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
Detailed Elestrin (estradiol gel) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Weight
ClimaraElestrin
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness. Tell your doctor right away if you have unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
Upsides and benefits
ClimaraElestrin
  • Climara (estradiol patch) replaces estrogen to your whole body and relieves many symptoms due to low estrogen, like hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
  • The patch is good for people who don't want to or can't take daily pills.
  • Climara (estradiol patch) is available as a generic product, which lowers the cost.
  • By using a patch instead of a pill, there's a lower risk of side effects such as blood clots and stroke since lower amounts of estrogen are used in patches.
  • Lowers your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy.
  • Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, vaginal dryness).
  • Good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • The pre-measured packets are easy to use and can be taken anywhere.
  • Fewer side effects than pills since there are lower amounts of estrogen in topical gels.
  • In studies, when people used low doses of Elestrin (Estradiol Gel), their symptoms started to improve in 5 weeks and they felt continued improvement over 8 to 12 weeks. People using the highest doses of Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) felt better in just 2 weeks.
  • Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) is available in 3 strengths.
  • Very few women (less than 1%) had skin irritation from the medicine.
  • Can lower 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.
Downsides and risks
ClimaraElestrin
  • The patch can fall off, especially if you like to regularly swim, take baths or use saunas or steamrooms.
  • Increases your risk of uterine and breast cancer.
  • If you have your uterus, you have to use the Climara (estradiol patch) with another hormone called progestin to lower your risk of uterine cancer.
  • Can worsen other health conditions, like high cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, fluid retention, underactive thyroid and migraines.
  • If you're only having vaginal dryness or inflammation and not hot flashes, it's better to use creams that you can apply to the affected area instead of Climara (estradiol patch).
  • Increases your risk of endometrial and breast cancer.
  • If you have your uterus, you have to use Elestrin (Estradiol Gel) with another hormone called progestin to lower your risk of uterine cancer.
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • Can't be used in people with liver problems.
  • It's possible to expose other people to the estrogen before it's absorbed by your skin.
  • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ClimaraElestrin
  • Remove the patch by tearing the package by hand and not with scissors. Never cut the patch.
  • Apply the sticky side of the patch to clean, dry, hairless skin on your lower belly or the upper areas of your buttocks as directed by the manufacturer. Don't put it on your waistline or on your breasts. Press the patch firmly in place for at least 10 seconds, especially around the edges.
  • Replace the patch every 7 days on a different area of your skin to prevent skin irritation.
  • Fold together the sticky sides of used patches before throwing them away to avoid exposing others to the medicine. Don't flush them down the toilet.
  • Should not 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 right away if you have unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Apply to your upper arm and shoulder area after a bath or shower.
  • Don't put it on your face, breasts, vagina, or irritated skin.
  • Don't rub it in. Let the gel dry before dressing, and don't get the application site wet for at least 2 hours.
  • Wash your hands well after applying the gel.
  • 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 ClimaraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Climara (estradiol patch)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ElestrinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Elestrin (estradiol gel)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it