Compare Estradiol Patch vs. Estradiol Norethindrone

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

Estraderm
(Estradiol Patch)

Activella
(Estradiol / Norethindrone)

Treats low estrogen, relieves menopause symptoms, and lowers your risk of osteoporosis. The Estraderm (Estradiol Patch) needs to be replaced twice 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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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Estraderm (Estradiol Patch)?
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Have you used Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone)?
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Side effects
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Breast pain 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 1%
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 7%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Pain 1%
More Estradiol Patch side effects »
  • Breast pain 24%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 18%
  • Headache 16%
  • Sinus inflammation 7%
  • Sleep difficulty 6%
  • Back pain 6%
  • Post-menopausal bleeding 5%
  • Uterine fibroid 5%
  • Infection viral 4%
  • Moniliasis genital 4%
More Estradiol Norethindrone side effects »
How it works
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
The Estraderm (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
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Patch
  • Pill
Used for
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
  • Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Risk factors for serious side effects
Estradiol PatchEstradiol 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 Estraderm (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

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
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone) is a mixture of estrogen and progestin. It could cause a higher risk of ovarian cancer, especially if you have a family history of it. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks versus the benefits of this medication.
Upsides and benefits
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
  • The Estraderm (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.
  • 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.
  • Mimvey brand is less expensive than other estrogen/progestin combination medicines.
Downsides and risks
Estradiol PatchEstradiol Norethindrone
  • Only comes in 2 strengths.
  • You need to replace the Estraderm (Estradiol Patch) twice a week, compared to other patches that are once a week.
  • Patch can fall off.
  • Increases your risk of uterine and breast cancer.
  • If you have your uterus, you have to use the Estraderm (Estradiol Patch) with another hormone called progestin to lower your risk of uterine cancer.
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • Can worsen other health conditions, like high cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, fluid retention, and migraines.
  • Can't be used in people with liver problems.
  • More potential side effects since it exposes your whole body to two hormones, estrogen and norethindrone (a progestin).
  • Increases your risk of developing blood clots and stroke.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Estradiol PatchEstradiol 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 twice a week (every 3-4 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 Estradiol PatchSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Estraderm (Estradiol Patch)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Estradiol NorethindroneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Activella (Estradiol / Norethindrone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it