Prescription onlyClass: Women's health

Combipatch 

(estradiol / norethindrone patch)

Prescription onlyClass: Women's health
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Treats low estrogen and relieves menopause symptoms.

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Our bottom line

Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) is effective at treating menopause symptoms, and it can be a good choice for women who need estrogen/progestin combo medications, but prefer to use a patch every twice a week instead of pills every day.

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Upsides

  • Twice-a-week patch. Good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, vaginal dryness).
  • Fewer side effects than pills since patches contain lower amounts of hormones.
  • Good for women with an intact uterus. The norethindrone (a progestin) protects against the risk of cancer in the uterus caused by estrogen treatment.

Downsides

  • More potential side effects than single-ingredient medications 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.
  • Patch can fall off.
  • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
How it works

Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) is an estrogen/progestin combination patch that works 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.

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Side effect rates for Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch)

325 From clinical trials of Combipatch / Endometrial hyperplasia (0.05/0.14 mg)
  • Breast pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Headache
  • Application site reaction
  • Pain
  • Inflammation inside the nose
  • Menstrual disorder
  • Back pain
  • Flu syndrome
  • Diarrhea

Risks and Warnings for Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Using estrogen for more than one year

    Vaginal bleeding after menopause can be a warning sign of uterus (endometrial) cancer, so let your doctor know if you notice any unusual bleeding. When estrogen is prescribed to women after menopause who still have a uterus, progestin should be used with it to lower the risk of cancer. Low-dose vaginal estrogen products are often a better choice than oral pills for women 65 years or older who have vaginal symptoms.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch)

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Pregnancy
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  • Can cause nausea, dizziness, bloating, and breast tenderness.
  • Combipatch (Estradiol / Norethindrone Patch) 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.