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Progesterone

What is it?

Progesterone is a hormone that is found naturally in the human body. It is taken for hormone replacement in women during menopause, female infertility (difficulty getting pregnant), and menstrual (monthly period) problems.

Other names for progesterone include: micronized progesterone and natural progesterone.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much progesterone you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking progesterone. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take progesterone without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Conjugated Estrogens (Premarin) (5)
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil) (8)
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral) (5)
  • Red Clover (7)

Warnings:

  • Before taking progesterone, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take progesterone if you are pregnant (5)
  • Do not take if you have or have had cancer of the breast or genital organs (5)
  • Do not take if you have liver problems (5)
  • Do not take if you have had an abortion that has failed (5)
  • Do not take if you are allergic to peanuts (5)
  • Do not take if you have a bleeding or blood clot disorder, thrombophlebitis, or cerebral apoplexy (5)
  • Do not take if you have vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor (5)
  • If you have epilepsy (seizure disorder), migraine headaches, asthma, heart problems, or kidney problems, use caution taking progesterone because it might make your condition worse (5)
  • Do not take if you have depression (5)

Side Effects:

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

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood (9)
  • Sudden or severe headache, vomiting, problems with vision, speech, or walking (9)

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Dizziness (5)
  • Feeling tired or sleepy (6)
  • Swelling (edema) (5)
  • Upset stomach, bloating, constipation (trouble having a bowel movement), throwing up, diarrhea (watery, loose bowel movements) (5)
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (5)

References:

1. Fitzpatrick LA & Good A: Micronized progesterone: clinical indications and comparison with current treatment. Fertil Steril 1999; 72(3):389-397.

2. Balasch J, Fabregues F, Ordi J et al: Further data favoring the hypothesis of the uterine first-pass effect of vaginally administered micronized progesterone. Gynecol Endocrinol 1996; 10:421-426.

3. Friedler S, Raziel A, Schachter M et al: Luteal support with micronized progesterone following in-vitro fertilization using a down-regulation protocol with gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist: a comparative study between vaginal and oral administration. Human Reproduction 1999; 14(8):1944-1948.

4. Leonetti HB, Longo S, Anasti JN: Transdermal progesterone cream for vasomotor symptoms and postmenopausal bone loss. Obstet Gynecol 1999; 94(2): 225-8.

5. Product Information: Prometrium®, progesterone. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Marietta, GA, 1999.

6. Freeman EW, Rickels K, Sondheimer SJ et al: A double-blind trial of oral progesterone, alprazolam, and placebo in treatment of severe premenstrual syndrome. JAMA 1995; 274(1):51-57.

7. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM & Blen M: Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. PSEBM 1998; 217(3):369-378.

8. Product Information: Adriamycin RDF(R), doxorubicin hydrochloride. Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, MI, 1999.

9. Product Information: Prometrium(R), progesterone. Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Marietta, GA, 2004.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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