Compare Premarin Vaginal Cream vs. Climara

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

Relieves vaginal dryness and pain due to menopause.

Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens) works well for vaginal problems caused by menopause, and it has fewer side effects than estrogen pills.

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.

Upsides
  • Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens) relieves vaginal dryness and irritation to make sex more enjoyable.
  • Works locally in the vagina and doesn't expose the rest of your body to estrogen like pills do.
  • Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens) doesn't need to be used forever, so you can work with your doctor to see how long you’ll need to continue treatment.
  • For painful sex, it can work better than over-the-counter vaginal lubricants because Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens) treats the cause of the problem (low estrogen levels), not just the symptoms (dryness).
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Vaginal estrogens can weaken latex (rubber) condoms, cervical caps, and diaphragms, so you can't rely on these for birth control for 72 hours after using Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens).
  • If you have severe vaginal dryness, you might have pain, bleeding, or infections from repeatedly inserting the applicator.
  • Some of the medicine can be absorbed into your partner's skin, so you can’t have vaginal sex right after using Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens).
  • Even though Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens) is used in the vagina, it's possible some of the estrogens will get into the rest of your body and cause side effects that happen more often with estrogen pills.
  • 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).
Used for
  • Vaginal dryness and inflammation
  • Painful intercourse from menopause
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and inflammation
  • Low estrogen
  • Ovarian failure
  • Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis
Dosage forms
  • Vaginal cream, gel, or ointment
  • Patch
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
31possible side effects
  • Any side effect
    90%
  • Headache
    28%
  • Infection
    23%
  • Pain
    20%
  • Abdominal pain
    17%
  • Back pain
    13%
  • Pharyngitis
    12%
  • Dyspepsia
    11%
  • Flu syndrome
    10%
  • Rhinitis
    10%
  • Myalgia
    9%
  • Upper respiratory infection
    9%
  • Asthenia
    8%
  • Arthralgia
    7%
  • Insomnia
    7%
  • Sinusitis
    7%
  • Breast pain
    7%
  • Accidental injury
    6%
  • Diarrhea
    6%
  • Flatulence
    6%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Depression
    5%
  • Pruritus
    5%
  • Vaginal moniliasis
    5%
  • Vaginitis
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Cough increased
    4%
  • Leukorrhea
    4%
  • Leg cramps
    3%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Vaginal hemorrhage
    2%
See more detailed side effects
16possible side effects
  • Breast pain
    28%
  • Lung infection
    17%
  • Stomach pain
    16%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Pain
    11%
  • Swelling of arms and legs
    10%
  • Back pain
    9%
  • Depression
    8%
  • Gas
    7%
  • White or yellow vaginal discharge
    7%
  • Sore throat
    7%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Stuffy nose
    6%
  • Joint pain
    5%
  • Sinus infection
    5%
  • Itchiness
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Endometrial cancer
    • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Breast cancer
    • Personal or family history of breast cancer
    • Duration of use
  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke
    • Personal or family history of blood clots
    • Obesity
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Increased risk of heart disease
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • High blood pressure
    • High blood sugar
    • High cholesterol
    • Age 50 or older
  • Memory loss
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Serious allergic reaction
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Premarin Vaginal Cream (Conjugated Estrogens)
  • Harm to fetus
    • Women of childbearing age
  • Pancreas swelling (pancreatitis)
    • High levels of triglycerides
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Endometrial cancer
    • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Breast cancer
    • Personal or family history of breast cancer
    • Using estrogen for more than one year
  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke
    • Personal or family history of blood clots
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Increased risk of heart disease
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • High blood pressure
    • High blood sugar
    • High cholesterol
    • Age 50 or older
  • Dementia
    • Age 65 or older
  • Pancreas swelling (pancreatitis)
    • High levels of triglycerides
See more detailed risks and warnings
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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.