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Depo-Provera (Injection Intramuscular)

Generic name: Medroxyprogesterone Injection (intramuscular) [ me-DROKS-ee-proe-JES-te-rone ]
Brand name: Depo-Provera
Drug classes: Contraceptives, Hormones / antineoplastics, Progestins

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 23, 2023.


  • Using Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) for birth control or endometriosis pain may cause bone loss. Bone loss is greater the longer the drug is used. It is not known what the effects will be on bones when used in teenaged and young adult women. Do not use Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) for longer than 2 years unless other options will not work or cannot be used.

Uses of Depo-Provera:

  • It is used to prevent pregnancy.
  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Depo-Provera?

For all reasons other than cancer treatment:

  • If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) if you are pregnant.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Depo-Provera?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Blood clots have happened with Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)). These clots have included heart attack, stroke, and clots in the leg, lung, or eye. Sometimes blood clots can be deadly. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a blood clot. Talk with your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor if you will need to be still for long periods of time like long trips, bedrest after surgery, or illness. Not moving for long periods may raise your chance of blood clots.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have signs of a blood clot like chest pain or pressure; coughing up blood; shortness of breath; swelling, warmth, numbness, change of color, or pain in a leg or arm; or trouble speaking or swallowing.
  • Liver problems have happened. Call your doctor right away if you get signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely.
  • High triglyceride levels have happened with Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)). Tell your doctor if you have ever had high triglyceride levels.
  • Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • Take calcium and vitamin D as you were told by your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • There may be a higher chance of breast cancer.
  • Be sure to have regular breast exams and gynecology check-ups. You will also need to do breast self-exams as you have been told.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)).
  • This medicine may cause dark patches of skin on your face. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Certain drugs or herbal products could cause Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) to not work as well. Be sure your doctor and pharmacist know about all of your drugs.
  • If you will be trying to get pregnant, it may take some time after your last dose of Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) to get pregnant. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
  • A pregnancy test will be done to show that you are NOT pregnant before starting Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)). If you get pregnant while taking Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)), call your doctor right away.

How is this medicine (Depo-Provera) best taken?

Use Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot into a muscle.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
  • Eyesight changes or loss, bulging eyes, or change in how contact lenses feel.
  • A lump in the breast, breast pain or soreness, or nipple discharge.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • Vaginal bleeding that is not normal.
  • Depression or other mood changes.
  • Seizures.
  • This medicine may cause you to swell or keep fluid in your body. Tell your doctor if you have swelling, weight gain, or trouble breathing.

What are some other side effects of Depo-Provera?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Weight gain or loss.
  • Headache.
  • Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired, or weak.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Bloating.
  • Change in sex interest.
  • Pimples (acne).
  • Hair loss.
  • Hair growth.
  • Enlarged breasts.
  • Tender breasts.
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • No period or other period (menstrual) changes.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Depo-Provera?

  • Most of the time, Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)) will be given in a hospital or doctor's office. If stored at home, follow how to store as you were told by the doctor.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone injection (intramuscular)), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.