CombiPatch® (estradiol/norethindrone patch) is a prescription hormone replacement medication that contains an estrogen and a progestin. It comes as a patch that is applied to the skin twice weekly. This medication is approved for the following uses:
- Treating hot flashes or night sweats due to menopause
- Treating itching, burning, or dryness in or around the vagina due to menopause
- Replacing hormones in younger women whose ovaries do not produce enough hormones (or who have had their ovaries removed).
For all uses, CombiPatch is approved only for women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy).
CombiPatch is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
How Does CombiPatch Work?
CombiPatch contains estradiol, one of several different estrogen hormones. Estradiol is the predominant estrogen in premenopausal women, and the estradiol in CombiPatch is identical to the kind naturally made by the body. The medication helps to relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing the estrogen that the ovaries no longer produce.
Norethindrone is added to CombiPatch because giving estrogens without a progestin to postmenopausal women can increase the risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus. Norethindrone (which is a progestin) decreases this risk. Of course, this applies only to women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy). For women without a uterus, the norethindrone component is usually considered unnecessary.