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Information about Depo-Provera Injection

Brand Name(s): Depo-Provera Injection

Generic Name Medroxyprogesterone Contraceptive Injection

What is medroxyprogesterone contraceptive injection?

MEDROXYPROGESTERONE (Depo-Provera® Contraceptive and Depo-subQ Provera 104™) acts as a contraceptive or method of birth control (to prevent an unwanted pregnancy). Medroxyprogesterone is a synthetic (laboratory-made) steroid that acts like the natural hormone progesterone. Natural progesterone is essential to normal functioning of the womb and reproductive system. This injection is only for contraceptive purposes, and each injection is effective for 3 months. Generic medroxyprogesterone contraceptive injections given into a muscle are available. Generic medroxyprogesterone contraceptive injections given under the skin are not yet available.

What should my health care professional know before I receive medroxyprogesterone?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • alcoholism or tobacco use
  • anorexia nervosa or bulimia
  • asthma
  • bone disease such as osteoporosis
  • blood vessel disease, blood clotting disorder, or had a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot in the lungs or legs
  • breast cancer
  • diabetes
  • heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • high blood lipids or cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • HIV or AIDS
  • mental depression
  • migraine
  • seizures (convulsions)
  • vaginal bleeding
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to medroxyprogesterone, other hormones, medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Depo-Provera® Contraceptive is for injection into a muscle whereas Depo-subQ Provera 104™ is for injection under the skin. The injections are given by a health care professional. You must not be pregnant before getting an injection. The injection is usually given during the first five days after the start of a menstrual period or 6 weeks after delivery of your baby if you are breast-feeding. You must get an injection every 3 months. If you wait longer than 13 weeks between Depo-Provera® contraceptive injections or longer than 14 weeks between Depo-subQ Provera 104™ contraceptive injections, you could get pregnant.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

Try not to miss a dose. You need an injection once every 3 months to maintain birth control. If you cannot keep an appointment, call your health care professional to reschedule. If you miss your appointment for your dose, you may need to have a pregnancy test before you can have another injection, and you will need to use condoms or another nonhormonal birth control method until you get the injection. If you wait longer than 13 weeks between Depo-Provera® contraceptive injections or longer than 14 weeks between Depo-subQ Provera 104™ contraceptive injections, you could get pregnant.

What drug(s) may interact with medroxyprogesterone?

  • aminoglutethimide
  • antibiotics or medicines for infections, especially rifampin, rifabutin, rifapentine, and griseofulvin
  • aprepitant
  • barbiturate medicines such as phenobarbital or primidone
  • bosentan
  • carbamazepine
  • modafinil
  • phenytoin
  • pioglitazone
  • St. John's wort
  • troglitazone

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from receiving medroxyprogesterone?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • breast tenderness or discharge
  • numbness or pain in the arm or leg
  • pain in the chest, groin, or leg
  • severe headache
  • stomach pain, especially severe low belly pain
  • sudden shortness of breath
  • unusual weakness or tiredness
  • vision or speech problems
  • yellowing of skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • changes in sexual desire or ability
  • changes in vaginal bleeding
  • facial hair growth
  • fluid retention and swelling
  • headache
  • increased sweating or hot flashes
  • loss of appetite or increase in appetite
  • mood changes, anxiety, depression, frustration, anger, or emotional outbursts
  • pain or itching at the injection site
  • skin rash
  • stomach discomfort
  • weight gain or weight loss
  • vaginal yeast infection (irritation and white discharge)

What should I watch for while taking medroxyprogesterone?

Schedule an appointment once every three months for another injection. If it has been more than 14 weeks since your last injection, you will need to have a pregnancy test to confirm that you are not pregnant before receiving another medroxyprogesterone injection.

Progestins can cause swelling, tenderness, or bleeding of the gums; be careful when brushing and flossing teeth. See your dentist regularly for routine dental care

Medroxyprogesterone does not protect you against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Only use this product for more than 2 years if other forms of birth control are not right for you. The longer you use medroxyprogesterone injection the more likely you will lose more calcium from your bones. Calcium loss from your bones may cause osteoporosis (weak bones). Ask your health care professional about taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.

You may miss a period or have a very light or heavy period during your use of medroxyprogesterone. You may have bleeding at unusual times and irregular periods. Many women stop having periods while taking medroxyprogesterone. If you have received an injection at least every 14 weeks, your chance of being pregnant is very low. If you think you may be pregnant, see your health care professional as soon as possible.

Tell your health care professional if you want to get pregnant within the next year. The effect of medroxyprogesterone may last a long time after you get your last injection.

Where can I keep my medicine?

This does not apply. The injections will be given to you by a health care professional.


(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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