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Drugs reference index «Medroxyprogesterone acetate»

Medroxyprogesterone acetate

Brand names: Provera

Why is Medroxyprogesterone acetate prescribed?

Provera is derived from the female hormone progesterone. You may be given Provera if your menstrual periods have stopped or a female hormone imbalance is causing your uterus to bleed abnormally. Provera is also prescribed to prevent abnormal growth of the uterine lining in women taking estrogen replacement therapy.

Other forms of medroxyprogesterone, such as Depo-Provera, are used as a contraceptive injection and prescribed in the treatment of endometrial cancer.

Some doctors prescribe Provera to treat endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, premenstrual tension, sexual aggressive behavior in men, and sleep apnea (temporary failure to breathe while sleeping).

Most important fact about Medroxyprogesterone acetate

You should never take Provera during the first 4 months of pregnancy. During this formative period, even a few days of treatment with Provera might put your unborn baby at increased risk for birth defects. If you take Provera and later discover that you were pregnant when you took it, discuss this with your doctor right away.

How should you take Medroxyprogesterone acetate?

Provera may be taken with or between meals.

Do not change from one brand to another without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.

  • If you miss a dose...Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Storage instructions...Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Provera.

  • Side effects may include:Acne, anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction), blood clot in a vein, lungs, or brain, breakthrough bleeding (between menstrual periods), breast tenderness or sudden or excessive flow of milk, cervical erosion or changes in secretions, depression, excessive growth of hair, fever, fluid retention, hair loss, headache, hives, insomnia, itching, lack of menstruation, menstrual flow changes, spotting, nausea, rash, skin discoloration, sleepiness, weight gain or loss, yellowed eyes and skin

Why should Medroxyprogesterone acetate not be prescribed?

Provera should never be taken during pregnancy. Avoid it if you even suspect you're pregnant. Doctors once prescribed Provera as a test for pregnancy, but no longer do so for 2 reasons:

  • Quicker, safer pregnancy tests are now available.
  • If you are in fact pregnant, Provera might injure the baby.

Similarly, Provera used to be given to try to prevent miscarriage. However, doctors now believe that this treatment is not only ineffective but also potentially harmful to the baby.

Do not take Provera if you have:

  • Cancer of the breast or genital organs
  • Liver disease or a liver condition
  • A dead fetus still in the uterus
  • Undiagnosed bleeding from the vagina

Do not take Provera if you have, or have ever developed, blood clots. Avoid it, too, if it gives you an allergic reaction.

Special warnings about Medroxyprogesterone acetate

Before you start to take Provera, your doctor will give you a complete physical exam, including examination of your breasts and pelvic organs. You should also have a cervical smear (Pap test).

Provera may cause some degree of fluid retention. If you have a medical condition that could be made worse by fluid retention—such as epilepsy, migraine, asthma, or a heart or kidney problem—make sure your doctor knows about it.

Provera may mask the onset of menopause. In other words, while taking Provera you may continue to experience regular menstrual bleeding even if your menopause has started.

Provera may make you depressed, especially if you have suffered from depression in the past. If you become seriously depressed, tell your doctor; you should probably stop taking Provera.

If you are diabetic, Provera could make your diabetes worse; your doctor will want to watch you closely while you are taking Medroxyprogesterone acetate.

There is some concern that Provera, like birth control pills, may increase your risk for a blood clot in a vein. If you experience any symptoms that might suggest the onset of such a condition—pain with swelling, warmth, and redness in a leg vein, coughing or shortness of breath, vision problems, migraine, or weakness or numbness in an arm or leg—see your doctor immediately.

Tell your doctor right away if you lose some or all of your vision or you start seeing double. You may have to stop taking the medication.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Medroxyprogesterone acetate

If Provera is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either may be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Provera with aminoglutethimide.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

You should not take Provera during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.

Provera appears in breast milk. If you are a new mother, you may need to choose between taking Provera and breastfeeding your baby.

Recommended dosage for Medroxyprogesterone acetate


To Restore Menstrual Periods

Provera Tablets are taken in dosages of 5 to 10 milligrams daily for 5 to 10 days. Make sure you discuss what effect this will have on your menstrual cycle with your doctor. You should have bleeding 3 to 7 days after you stop taking Provera.

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding Due to Hormonal Imbalance

Beginning on the 16th or 21st day of your menstrual cycle, you will take 5 to 10 milligrams daily for 5 to 10 days. Make sure you discuss what effect this will have on your menstrual cycle with your doctor. You should have bleeding 3 to 7 days after you stop taking Provera.

To Accompany Estrogen Replacement Therapy

The recommended regimen is 5 or 10 milligrams of Provera a day for 12 to 14 days each month, beginning on either Day 1 or Day 16 of the cycle.


Although no specific information is available, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Provera, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Depo-Provera Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Depo-Provera Injectable Suspension MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Depo-Provera Consumer Overview
  • Depo-SubQ Provera 104 Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Medroxyprogesterone MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Medroxyprogesterone Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Provera Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Provera Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • depo-subQ provera 104 Injectable Suspension (subcutaneous) MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)

See Also...

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