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Medroxyprogesterone (Injection)

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

Prevents pregnancy.

Brand Name(s):

Depo-Provera, Depo-Provera Contraceptive, Depo-SubQ Provera 104

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 are pregnant, have liver disease, have breast cancer or vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor, or have ever had a blood clot including a stroke.

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.
  • If you are switching from another form of birth control, carefully follow your doctor's instructions about when to have your first shot.
  • You will receive your first shot during the first 5 days of a normal monthly period. You will need to receive an injection every 3 months (about 13 weeks) to prevent pregnancy.
  • 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 have this shot every 3 months to prevent pregnancy. If you do not get another shot after 3 months, talk with your doctor. You may need to use another form of birth control and wait until your next monthly period before you receive another shot.

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:
    • Bosentan, carbamazepine, felbamate, griseofulvin, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, rifampin, St John's wort, topiramate
    • Antibiotics
    • Medicine to treat HIV/AIDS

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, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy or seizures, migraine headaches, an eating disorder, a history of depression, osteoporosis, or if you smoke.
  • This medicine may cause osteoporosis (thin or weak bones). This is more likely to happen if you use it for more than 2 years. You should not use this medicine long-term unless you cannot use any other form of birth control.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Blood clots
    • Possible increased risk of breast cancer
  • This medicine will not protect you from HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • It may take 1 year or longer before you can become pregnant after you stop receiving the shots. However, do not depend on a shot to prevent pregnancy for more than 3 months.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.

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
  • Heavy 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
  • Pain or swelling in your lower leg (calf)
  • Severe stomach pain or cramping
  • Yellow skin or eyes

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

  • Headache
  • Light or missed monthly periods, spotting between periods
  • Nervousness or dizziness
  • 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: 3/28/2016
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