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Progesterone (By mouth)

Progesterone (proe-JES-ter-one)

Helps prevent changes in the uterus in women who are taking estrogen after menopause. Also treats menstrual periods that have stopped before menopause.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to progesterone or peanuts, or if you have liver disease or a history of breast cancer or blood clots (including heart attack or stroke). Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • This medicine is usually taken every day for 10 to 12 days, depending on the reason you are using it. If you also take estrogen, carefully follow the schedule for both medicines together.
  • If you have trouble swallowing this medicine, take it with a glass of water while standing up. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if this does not help.
  • Take the medicine at bedtime unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, endometriosis, epilepsy, migraine headaches, lupus, thyroid problems, or a history of depression. Tell your doctor about any problems with your heart or blood, such as heart disease, blood clotting problems, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. 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
    • Dementia (when used together with estrogen in women older than 65)
    • Increased risk of breast or endometrial cancer (when used together with estrogen)
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests. You may also need to stop if you will be inactive for a long time. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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
  • Breast lumps
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing, or coughing up blood
  • Depression
  • Heavy or nonstop vaginal bleeding
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of your body, sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet

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

  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Light breakthrough bleeding or spotting
  • Stomach bloating or cramps
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest

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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