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Progesterone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: progesterone (proe JESS te rone)
Brand Names: First Progesterone MC10, Menopause Formula Progesterone, Prometrium

What is progesterone?

Progesterone is a female hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation.

Progesterone is used to cause menstrual periods in women who have not yet reached menopause but are not having periods due to a lack of progesterone in the body. It is also used to prevent overgrowth in the lining of the uterus in postmenopausal women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement therapy.

Progesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.

Important information

Do not use progesterone without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

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You should not use progesterone if you have: abnormal vaginal bleeding, a history of breast cancer, liver disease, or if you have recently had a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.

Progesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.

Using progesterone can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer.

Some forms of this medication may contain peanut oil. Do not use this medicine without telling your doctor if you have a peanut allergy.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use progesterone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked;

  • a history of breast cancer;

  • liver disease;

  • a peanut allergy;

  • if you are pregnant;

  • if you have had a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot within the past year; or

  • if you have recently had an incomplete miscarriage or "missed" abortion.

Using progesterone can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, circulation problems;

  • migraines;

  • asthma;

  • kidney disease;

  • seizures or epilepsy;

  • a history of depression; or

  • risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, high cholesterol, family history of coronary artery disease, smoking, being overweight).

Do not use progesterone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Progesterone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use progesterone?

Use progesterone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take the capsule with a full glass of water. It is best to take the medicine at night because this medicine can make you dizzy or drowsy.

Apply progesterone cream to the skin as directed by your doctor.

Progesterone is sometimes used for only a short time, such as 10 to 12 days during each menstrual cycle. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using progesterone.

If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Call your doctor if you miss more than one 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 while using progesterone?

Progesterone may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Progesterone side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to progesterone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • a breast lump;

  • sudden vision problems, severe headache or pain behind your eyes;

  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes);

  • severe dizziness or drowsiness, spinning sensation, confusion, shortness of breath;

  • heart attack symptoms - chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • signs of a stroke - sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with speech or balance;

  • signs of a blood clot in the lung - chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood; or

  • signs of a blood clot in your leg - pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.

Common progesterone side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;

  • breast pain;

  • mood changes;

  • headache;

  • constipation, diarrhea, heartburn;

  • bloating, swelling in your hands or feet;

  • joint pain;

  • hot flashes; or

  • vaginal discharge.

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)

Progesterone dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Amenorrhea:

5 to 10 mg IM for six to eight consecutive days.

400 mg orally for 10 days. Give dose in the evening.

Secondary Amenorrhea:
90 mg intravaginally, 4% gel, every other day for a total of six doses. If no response observed, the administration of the 8% gel every other day for a total of six doses may be used.

Usual Adult Dose for Uterine Bleeding:

5 to 10 mg IM daily for 6 doses.

Usual Adult Dose for Endometrial Hyperplasia - Prophylaxis:

200 mg orally for 12 consecutive days, per 28 day cycle. Give dose in the evening.

Usual Adult Dose for Progesterone Insufficiency:

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) - Gel:
90 mg of the 8% gel, once daily intravaginally, in women who require supplementation.
90 mg of the 8% gel, twice daily intravaginally, in women with partial or complete ovarian failure who require replacement.
If pregnancy occurs, therapy with the intravaginal gel may be continued until placental autonomy is achieved, up to 10 to 12 weeks.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) - Vaginal Insert
100 mg administered vaginally two or three times daily starting at oocyte retrieval and continuing for up to 10 weeks total duration. Efficacy in women 35 years of age and older has not been clearly established. The appropriate dose in this age group has not been determined.

Progesterone deficiency associated with menopause and perimenopause:
1.7% topical cream: rub 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon into the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or other soft areas of skin once or twice daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Premature Labor:

Study (n=459) - National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) - Prevention of Recurrent Preterm Delivery in Women at High Risk: 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) 250 mg IM once weekly starting on the 21st week of gestation through time of delivery or week 36 of gestation.

Study (n=142) - Reduce Incidence of Spontaneous Preterm Birth in Women at Increased Risk: 100 mg vaginal suppository daily, between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation.

Usual Adult Dose for Seizures:

(Study=25) - Catamenial epilepsy [complex partial or secondary generalized motor seizures]:
200 mg lozenge three times daily administered in relation to pattern of seizure exacerbation during luteal phase of menstrual cycle. For patients with perimenstrual exacerbation, dose was provided on day 23 through day 25 of menstrual cycle. For patients with seizure exacerbation during entire luteal phase, dose was provided on day 15 through day 25 of each menstrual cycle. The desired progesterone serum level was between 5 and 25 ng/mL 4 hours after taking the lozenge. All patients continued taking their best antiseizure medication.

Usual Adult Dose for Perimenopausal Symptoms:

Progesterone deficiency associated with menopause and perimenopause:
1.7% topical cream: Rub 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoonful into the palms of the hands, soles of feet, or other soft area once or twice daily.

What other drugs will affect progesterone?

There may be other drugs that can interact with progesterone. 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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about progesterone.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use progesterone only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2015 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 9.01. Revision Date: 2015-03-26, 12:28:14 PM.

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