Compare Combipatch vs. estradiol / norethindrone

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

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Treats low estrogen and relieves menopause symptoms.

Combipatch (estradiol / norethindrone patch) is a twice weekly patch that effectively treats menopause and causes less blood clots or stroke than combination pills.

Relieves menopause symptoms and lowers your risk of osteoporosis.

Activella (estradiol / norethindrone) helps relieve menopausal symptoms and prevent bone loss. There can be many side effects, so it's important to talk to your doctor about the benefits and potential hassles of this drug before using it.

Upsides
  • Twice weekly patch. Good for people who don't want to take daily pills.
  • Replenishes estrogen to your whole body and relieves multiple symptoms due to low estrogen (hot flashes, vaginal dryness).
  • Less likely to cause blood clots or stroke than pills since patches contain a lower amount of hormones.
  • Good for women with an intact uterus.
  • You can bathe, shower, and swim while wearing the patch, as long as you don't rub the patch.
  • Replaces estrogen in your entire body and relieves multiple symptoms of menopause.
  • Lowers your risk of fractures by keeping your bones healthy.
  • Improves mood, energy, and mental alertness for some people.
  • Generic available, so cost is usually lower.
Downsides
  • More potential side effects than single ingredient medications since it exposes your whole body to two hormones.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
  • The patch can't be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time.
  • Can be expensive since it's only available as a brand name product.
  • More potential side effects since Activella (estradiol / norethindrone) exposes your whole body to two hormones.
  • Raises your risk of developing a stroke and blood clots.
  • You may get irregular bleeding and spotting that can last a few months to a year.
  • Should only use if you still have a uterus.
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Used for
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness and inflammation
  • Low estrogen
  • Primary ovarian failure
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness and inflammation
  • Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis
Dosage forms
  • Patch
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
24possible side effects
  • Breast pain
    25%
  • Menstrual cramps
    20%
  • Headache
    18%
  • Back pain
    11%
  • Nausea
    11%
  • Flu like symptoms
    9%
  • Weakness
    8%
  • Abnormal pap smear
    8%
  • Stomach pain
    7%
  • Lung problems
    7%
  • Stuffy nose
    7%
  • Pain
    6%
  • Menstrual problems
    6%
  • Vaginal inflammation
    6%
  • Vaginal discharge
    5%
  • Accidental injury
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Gas
    4%
  • Sore throat
    4%
  • Sinus infection
    4%
  • Depression
    3%
  • Trouble sleeping
    3%
  • Nervousness
    3%
  • Skin irritation
    2%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Breast pain
    21%
  • Headache
    17%
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Upper airway infection
    10%
  • Post-menopausal bleeding
    10%
  • Sinus infection
    7%
  • Ovarian cyst
    7%
  • Back pain
    3%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    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
    • 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)
  • Dementia
    • Aged 65 or older
  • Pancreas swelling (pancreatitis)
    • High levels of triglycerides
  • Gallbladder problems
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Endometrial cancer
    • Using estrogen for more than 1 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
    • High blood pressure
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • High cholesterol
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Dementia
    • Age 65 or older
  • Pancreas swelling (pancreatitis)
    • History of high triglycerides
See more detailed risks and warnings