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Medroxyprogesterone (By injection)

Medroxyprogesterone (me-drox-ee-proe-JES-ter-one)

Prevents pregnancy. Also treats endometriosis and is used with other medicines to help relieve symptoms of cancer, including uterine or kidney cancer.

Brand Name(s):

Depo-Provera, Depo-Provera Contraceptive, Depo-SubQ Provera 104, medroxyPROGESTERone acetate Novaplus

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to medroxyprogesterone or if you have a history of breast cancer or blood clots (including heart attack or stroke). In most cases, you should not use this medicine while you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle or just under the skin.
  • Your exact treatment schedule depends on the reason you are using this medicine. You doctor will explain your personal schedule.
    • For treatment of cancer symptoms, you may start with a shot once per week. You may need fewer shots as your treatment goes forward.
    • For birth control or endometriosis, you will need a shot every 3 months (13 weeks).
    • You might need to have the first shot during the first 5 days of your normal menstrual period, to make sure you are not pregnant. If you have just had a baby, you may receive a shot 5 days after birth if you are not breastfeeding or 6 weeks after birth if you are breastfeeding.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: You must receive a shot every 3 months if you want to prevent pregnancy. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you do not receive your medicine on time, because you may need another form of birth control.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how medroxyprogesterone works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Aminoglutethimide, bosentan, carbamazepine, felbamate, griseofulvin, mitotane, modafinil, nefazodone, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, St John's wort, topiramate
    • Medicine to treat an infection (including clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin, voriconazole)
    • Medicine to treat HIV/AIDS (including atazanavir, efavirenz, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, seizures, migraine headaches, an eating disorder, osteoporosis, or a history of depression. Tell your doctor if you smoke.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Blood clots, which could lead to stroke, heart attack, or other serious problems
    • Possible increased risk of breast cancer
    • Weak or thin bones, especially with long-term use
  • You should not use this medicine for long-term birth control unless you cannot use any other form of birth control.
  • This medicine will not protect you from HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, or coughing up blood
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Heavy or nonstop vaginal bleeding
  • Loss of vision, double vision
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your body, sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Severe stomach pain or cramps

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Light or missed monthly periods, spotting between periods
  • Nervousness or dizziness
  • Pain, redness, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the shot was given
  • Weight gain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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