Generic Name: medroxyprogesterone (oral) (me DROX ee proe JES ter one)
Brand Name: Provera
Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on March 1, 2021.
What is medroxyprogesterone?
Medroxyprogesterone is a progestin (a form of progesterone), a female hormone that helps regulate ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and menstrual periods.
Medroxyprogesterone is used to treat conditions such as absent or irregular menstrual periods, or abnormal uterine bleeding. Medroxyprogesterone is also used to decrease the risk of endometrial hyperplasia (a condition that may lead to uterine cancer) while taking estrogens.
Medroxyprogesterone is also used to prevent overgrowth in the lining of the uterus in postmenopausal women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement therapy.
You should not use medroxyprogesterone if you are pregnant, or if you have liver disease, a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer, a history of stroke or blood clot, or abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor.
Medroxyprogesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease, stroke, or dementia. This medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions. Long-term use of medroxyprogesterone may increase your risk of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, or blood clot. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
Before taking this medicine
Medroxyprogesterone can cause birth defects. Do not use if this medicine you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to medroxyprogesterone, or if you have:
abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been diagnosed;
a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
liver disease; or
a history of stroke or blood clot.
To make sure medroxyprogesterone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, congestive heart failure, recent stroke or heart attack
high blood pressure;
high cholesterol or triglycerides;
low levels of calcium in your blood;
severe pelvic pain;
recent miscarriage or abortion;
a thyroid disorder;
Medroxyprogesterone may increase your risk of developing a condition that can lead to uterine cancer. To help lower this risk, your doctor may prescribe a progestin for you to take with medroxyprogesterone. Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away.
Medroxyprogesterone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Medroxyprogesterone will not prevent heart disease, breast cancer, or dementia, and may actually increase the risk of developing these conditions in post-menopausal women. Medroxyprogesterone may also increase the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer in some women. Long-term treatment with estrogens and progestins (such as medroxyprogesterone) may also increase your risk of heart attack, blood clot, or stroke.
Talk to your doctor about your specific risks and benefits of taking this medicine, especially if you smoke or are overweight. Your doctor should check your progress on a regular basis (every 3 to 6 months) to determine whether you should continue this treatment.
How should I take medroxyprogesterone?
Take medroxyprogesterone exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Medroxyprogesterone is usually given for only a few days in a row each month. You may need to start taking the medication on a certain day of your menstrual cycle, depending on why you are taking medroxyprogesterone. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using medroxyprogesterone.
This medicine can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are taking medroxyprogesterone.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid
Avoid smoking while you are taking this medicine. Smoking greatly increases your risk of blood clots.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Medroxyprogesterone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction to medroxyprogesterone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
vaginal bleeding if you have already gone through menopause;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
a breast lump;
symptoms of depression (sleep problems, dizziness, mood changes, headache);
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
heart attack symptoms--chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
signs of a stroke--sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with vision 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 medroxyprogesterone side effects may include:
spotting or breakthrough bleeding;
changes in your menstrual periods;
vaginal itching or discharge;
breast tenderness or discharge;
headache, dizziness, feeling nervous or depressed;
bruising or swelling of your veins;
premenstrual type symptoms (bloating, fluid retention, mood changes);
sleep problems (insomnia);
itching, rash, acne, hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
stomach discomfort, bloating, nausea;
weight gain; or
vision changes and difficulty wearing contact lenses.
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.
What other drugs will affect medroxyprogesterone?
Other drugs may interact with medroxyprogesterone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Frequently asked questions
More about medroxyprogesterone
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 2177 Reviews
- Drug class: contraceptives
- Advanced Reading
- Medroxyprogesterone Intramuscular (Advanced Reading)
- Medroxyprogesterone Tablets
- Medroxyprogesterone Injection (400 mg/mL)
- Medroxyprogesterone Injection (Intramuscular)
- Medroxyprogesterone Injection (Subcutaneous)
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Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use medroxyprogesterone only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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