Depo Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) Dosage and Side Effects
DEPO PROVERA is an injection used to prevent pregnancy. A form of this medication may also be used to treat endometriosis (a condition where tissue that lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body).
Warnings and Precautions
DEPO PROVERA may decrease the amount of calcium in your bones. Loss of calcium may lead to osteoporosis and could increase your risk of a bone fracture. This effect is greater the longer you use the drug and may not be completely reversible.
You shouldn't use DEPO PROVERA as a long-term birth control method (longer than two years) unless other methods are not suitable.
It's not known if using DEPO PROVERA during the teen years (when bone mass increases) will affect a woman's risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. You should talk to your doctor about this risk.
You should consume foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium (or take supplements) while taking DEPO PROVERA to lower the risk of calcium bone loss.
Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had osteoporosis, breast cancer, or diabetes before taking this medication.
If you are younger than 35 years of age and have received DEPO PROVERA in the last four to five years, you may be at a slightly increased risk for developing breast cancer. This medicine may also increase the chance of developing blood clots that move to your lungs or brain. Talk to your doctor about these risks.
You might not become pregnant for some time after your last injection of DEPO PROVERA . Tell your doctor if you wish to become pregnant in the near future.
Your menstrual periods will probably be different while taking DEPO PROVERA. You may experience irregular periods, spotting between periods, or no periods at all. Your cycle will probably return to normal after you stop using this medicine.
Before taking DEPO PROVERA , you should tell your doctor if you have or have ever had the following:
- Any bone disease
- Anorexia nervosa
- Lumps in your breasts
- Bleeding from your nipples
- Excessive weight gain or fluid retention before menstruation
- Blood clots in the legs, brain, lungs, or eyes
- A stroke or mini-stroke
- Migraine headaches
- High blood pressure
- A heart attack or heart disease
- Lung disease
- Kidney disease
- Unusual vaginal bleeding or very light menstrual periods
- An abnormal mammogram
- Fibrocystic breast disease
Also, alert your physician if you drink large amounts of alcohol, smoke frequently, or are undergoing any type of surgery.
DEPO PROVERA is effective at preventing pregnancy, but it doesn't protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.
Pregnancy and DEPO PROVERA
DEPO PROVERA may harm an unborn baby. You should call your doctor if you are pregnant, think you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant while taking this drug. This medicine may be safe to use while you are breastfeeding as long as your baby is at least 6 weeks old. You should talk to your doctor about receiving DEPO PROVERA while breastfeeding.
Interactions with this medication
Before taking DEPO PROVERA, you should tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking, especially:
- Corticosteroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone)
- Medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton)
- Aminoglutethimide (Cytadren)
Proper Use of this medication
The intramuscular injection is typically administered once every three months by a health care provider. It's usually injected into the buttocks or upper arm.
The subcutaneous injection is typically administered once every 12 to 14 weeks by a healthcare provider. This form is injected just under the skin, often in the abdomen or upper thigh.
To ensure that you aren't pregnant, you will receive your injection of DEPO PROVERA during the first five days of your menstrual period, during the first five days after you give birth, or during the sixth week after giving birth.
If you miss an injection of DEPO PROVERA, you should call your doctor and use a back-up form of birth control.
You might become pregnant if you don't receive your injection on a set schedule. The injection must be received once every 12 weeks to provide full protection.
Common Side Effects of DEPO PROVERA
You should tell your doctor if any of the following side effects are severe or don't go away:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Breast pain, swelling, or tenderness
- Hot flashes
- Leg cramps
- Stomach cramps or bloating
- Joint or back pain
- Hair loss
- White vaginal discharge
- Redness, irritation, swelling, burning, or itching of the vagina
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Changes in sexual desire
- Pain, redness, irritation, lumping, or scarring at the site of injection
Progesterone-only forms of birth control such as DEPO PROVERA may cause weight gain.
Serious Side Effects of DEPO PROVERA
You should call your doctor right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Coughing up blood
- Severe headache
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Sudden crushing or sharp chest pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
- Change in vision, loss of vision, or double vision
- Bulging eyes
- Difficulty speaking
- Numbness or weakness in an arm or leg
- Pain, warmth, swelling, or redness in one leg only
- Menstrual bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than usual
- Severe pain just below the waist
- Extreme fatigue
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Rash, hives, or itching
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Painful, difficult, or frequent urination
- Constant pain, warmth, swelling, bleeding, or pus at the site of injection
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.