Compare Climara vs. Estradiol Norethindrone

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

Climara
(Estradiol Patch)

Activella
(Estradiol / Norethindrone)

Treats low estrogen, relieves menopause symptoms, and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. You only have to think about the Climara (Estradiol Patch) once a week, and it may have fewer side effects than oral estrogen pills.Relieves menopause symptoms and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) is effective at treating symptoms related to menopause and preventing bone loss. The estrogen/progestin combo is a good options for women with an intact uterus.
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Side effects
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Breast pain 25%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 9%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Headache 8%
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 7%
  • Thick vaginal discharge 6%
  • Passing gas 6%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 5%
  • Sore throat 4%
  • Pain 4%
More Climara side effects »
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding 14%
  • Injury accidental 13%
  • Endometrial thickening 6%
  • Back pain 6%
  • Sinus inflammation 5%
  • Common cold 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Weight increase 3%
  • "stomach flu" 2%
  • Other events 2%
More Estradiol Norethindrone side effects »
How it works
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
The Climara (Estradiol Patch) replaces an estrogen hormone, estradiol, that your body loses during and after menopause. Higher levels of estradiol relieve symptoms of low estrogen and menopause and prevent bone loss.Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) contains two hormones that work to balance hormone changes in your body during and after menopause. Estradiol (an estrogen) reduces hot flashes and night sweats and prevents bone loss, but can also harm cells in the uterus after menopause. Norethindrone (a progestin) protects the uterus from damage.
Type of medication
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
Hormone replacement
Estrogen derivative
Prescription only
Hormone replacement
Estrogen
Progestin
Prescription only
Available as
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Patch
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
Risk factors for serious side effects
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
  • 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
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol
  • Age 50 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • High levels of triglycerides
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
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Women of childbearing age
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Family history of ovarian cancer
Detailed Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

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.

See the FDA package insert
XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

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.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
  • The Climara (Estradiol Patch) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen, like hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
  • The patch is good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • Can be worn while swimming, bathing, and showering.
  • 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. Make sure you also get enough calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.
  • Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness).
  • Good choice for women with intact uterus. The norethindrone (a progestin) protects against the risk of cancer in the uterus from estrogen treatment.
  • Mimvey brand is less expensive than other estrogen/progestin combination medicines.
  • Lowers 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
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Patch can fall off.
  • 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, and migraines.
  • Can't be used in people with liver problems.
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • More potential side effects since it exposes your whole body to two hormones, estrogen and norethindrone (a progestin).
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ClimaraEstradiol Norethindrone
  • 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 below your waistline on areas as instructed by the manufacturer (never on your breast).
  • Replace the patch every 7 days on a different area of your skin to lower your risk of 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.
  • Shouldn't 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 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.
  • Shouldn't 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 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
More about Estradiol NorethindroneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert