Compare Estradiol Patch vs. estradiol / norethindrone

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

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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) 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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 and night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness and inflammation
  • Low estrogen
  • Primary ovarian failure
  • Prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis
  • 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
16possible side effects
  • Breast pain
    28%
  • URTI
    17%
  • Abdominal pain
    16%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Pain
    11%
  • Edema
    10%
  • Back pain
    9%
  • Depression
    8%
  • Flatulence
    7%
  • Leukorrhea
    7%
  • Pharyngitis
    7%
  • Nausea
    6%
  • Rhinitis
    6%
  • Arthralgia
    5%
  • Sinusitis
    5%
  • Pruritus
    3%
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
    • 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
  • 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 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