Generic Name: medroxyprogesterone (injectable) (me DROX ee proe JES ter one)
Brand Names: Depo-Provera, Depo-Provera Contraceptive, depo-subQ provera 104
What is Depo-Provera?
Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone) is a form of progesterone, a female hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). This medication also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.
Depo-Provera is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. It is also used to reduce pain caused by endometriosis.
Depo-Provera is also used to ease pain and other symptoms in women with metastatic uterine or kidney cancer. This medication is not a cure for these conditions.
Depo-Provera may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Depo-Provera can cause birth defects. Do not use if this medication if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Also tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant soon after you stop using Depo-Provera. You should not use Depo-Provera if you are allergic to medroxyprogesterone, or if you have unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease, or a history of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. Medroxyprogesterone may cause bone loss (osteoporosis) especially when used over long periods of time. Bone loss may not be reversible. Do not use Depo-Provera for longer than 2 years. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of bone loss.
Depo-Provera will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases-including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases.
Before using Depo-Provera
Depo-Provera may cause bone loss (osteoporosis) especially when used over long periods of time. Bone loss may not be reversible. Do not use Depo-Provera for longer than 2 years. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of bone loss. Medroxyprogesterone can cause birth defects. Do not use if this medication if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Also tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant soon after you stop using Depo-Provera.
You should not use Depo-Provera if you are allergic to medroxyprogesterone, or if you have:
unusual vaginal bleeding;
a history of breast cancer; or
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.
To make sure you can safely use Depo-Provera, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
high blood pressure, congestive heart failure;
a personal or family history of diabetes;
bone disease or a family history of osteoporosis;
depression, or an eating disorder;
light, heavy, or irregular menstrual periods;
a family history of breast cancer;
if you have ever had a breast lump, an abnormal mammogram, or bleeding from your nipples; or
if you drink large amounts of alcohol or if you smoke.
Medroxyprogesterone passes into breast milk, but it is not known whether this could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Depo-Provera without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use Depo-Provera?
Depo-Provera is injected into a muscle or under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Depo-Provera may be given once per week or once every 3 months, depending on why you are using the medication. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
You may have breakthrough bleeding while using Depo-Provera. Tell your doctor if this bleeding continues or is very heavy.
Depo-Provera can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Depo-Provera.
Your doctor will need to see you on a regular basis while you are using this medication. Do not miss any appointments.
Store Depo-Provera at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of this medication.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid?
Depo-Provera will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to protect yourself from these diseases.
Depo-Provera side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Depo-Provera: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
menstrual periods that are heavier or longer than normal;
sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs;
nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet; or
symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes).
Less serious Depo-Provera side effects may include:
changes in your menstrual periods;
mild headache, drowsiness;
mild stomach pain;
feeling tired or irritable;
decreased sex drive; or
skin changes or a hard lump where the injection was given.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Depo-Provera?
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
seizure medication; or
an oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable steroid medicine.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Depo-Provera. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More about Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Depo-Provera.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Depo-Provera only for the indication prescribed.
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