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Methylacetoxyprogesterone (Generic Medroxyprogesterone Injection)

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Medroxyprogesterone injection, often known by its brand name Depo-Provera, is a hormonal contraceptive method that contains the synthetic hormone medroxyprogesterone acetate. While it is generally safe and effective for birth control, there are some potential risks and side effects associated with its use:

  • Menstrual Changes: Many women experience irregular or prolonged menstrual bleeding, or even complete absence of periods while using this injection. This can be a desired effect for contraception but may be concerning for some.
  • Weight Gain: Some individuals using medroxyprogesterone injection report weight gain. It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle to minimize this risk.
  • Bone Health: Long-term use of this contraceptive may lead to a decrease in bone density, especially in younger women. This can increase the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
  • Mood Changes: Some users have reported mood swings, depression, or emotional changes while using this method.
  • Delayed Return to Fertility: After discontinuing the injection, it may take several months or longer for fertility to return to normal. For those who wish to conceive soon after stopping the injection, this can be a drawback.
  • Other Side Effects: Like any medication, medroxyprogesterone injection can have other side effects such as headaches, breast tenderness, and nausea. These are generally mild and temporary.
  • No Protection Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): This contraceptive method does not provide protection against STIs. Users should still use barrier methods (e.g., condoms) if there’s a risk of STIs.
  • Allergic Reactions: While rare, some people may experience allergic reactions to the injection, such as hives, itching, or swelling at the injection site.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: There may be a slight increase in the risk of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack associated with hormonal contraceptives, including medroxyprogesterone. This risk is generally higher in women who smoke or have other risk factors.

It’s essential to discuss these potential risks and side effects with a healthcare provider before starting medroxyprogesterone injection. They can help you assess whether it’s the right contraceptive option for you and provide guidance on managing any side effects or risks that may be relevant to your specific health profile. Additionally, it’s crucial to receive regular check-ups while using this contraceptive to monitor for any adverse effects and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Medroxyprogesterone injection is a medication that contains the hormone progestin (specifically, medroxyprogesterone acetate). It is prescribed for various medical purposes, primarily in the field of gynecology and reproductive health. Here are some common reasons why Medroxyprogesterone injection may be prescribed:

  • Birth Control: Medroxyprogesterone injection, often known by its brand name Depo-Provera, is used as a highly effective form of birth control. It is administered every 12 to 13 weeks and works by suppressing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus to block sperm, and altering the uterine lining to make it less receptive to implantation.
  • Treatment of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Medroxyprogesterone may be prescribed to women who experience irregular, heavy, or prolonged menstrual bleeding. It can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce excessive bleeding.
  • Endometriosis: It is sometimes used in the management of endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. Medroxyprogesterone can help reduce the growth and symptoms associated with endometriosis.
  • Amenorrhea: In cases of secondary amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods for several months in women who have previously menstruated), Medroxyprogesterone may be prescribed to induce a withdrawal bleeding, which can help diagnose the cause of the amenorrhea.
  • Management of Painful Periods: It can be used to relieve pain associated with dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods).
  • Cancer Treatment: In some cases, Medroxyprogesterone may be used as part of cancer treatment, especially for certain types of breast cancer or endometrial cancer.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how Medroxyprogesterone injection should be used, it typically involves the following:

  • Administration: A healthcare provider administers the injection into a muscle (usually in the buttocks or upper arm) or under the skin. It’s important to follow the recommended dosing schedule, which is typically every 12 to 13 weeks for birth control.
  • First Injection Timing: If using Medroxyprogesterone for birth control, the first injection should be given within the first five days of your menstrual period or within five days of childbirth (if not breastfeeding) or within five days of an abortion.
  • Subsequent Injections: Follow-up injections should be administered according to the prescribed schedule, even if you haven’t resumed menstruating.
  • Monitoring: Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are important while on Medroxyprogesterone to monitor for any side effects and to ensure it’s still the right choice for you.
  • Discontinuation: If you decide to stop using Medroxyprogesterone for birth control or any other reason, it may take several months for your fertility to return to normal. Be sure to discuss this with your healthcare provider.

It’s crucial to use Medroxyprogesterone injection exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. This medication may have side effects and potential risks, so it’s essential to discuss your specific medical history and any concerns with your healthcare provider before starting this treatment. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual health needs.

Other uses for this medicine

Medroxyprogesterone injection may have other off-label uses, but these should only be pursued under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. It’s essential to discuss your specific medical condition and treatment options with your healthcare provider to determine whether Medroxyprogesterone injection is appropriate for you.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special Precautions for Medroxyprogesterone Injection:

  • Pregnancy: Medroxyprogesterone is contraindicated during pregnancy as it may harm the developing fetus. It should only be used when prescribed by a healthcare provider and with strict contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy during treatment.
  • Breastfeeding: It is not recommended to use medroxyprogesterone while breastfeeding, as it may pass into breast milk and affect the infant.
  • Bone Health: Long-term use of medroxyprogesterone may lead to decreased bone density. Your healthcare provider should assess your risk factors for osteoporosis and consider alternatives or monitor your bone health if long-term use is necessary.
  • Cardiovascular Risks: Like other hormonal therapies, medroxyprogesterone may have an increased risk of cardiovascular events, particularly in women with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.
  • Blood Clots: There is a potential risk of blood clot formation associated with medroxyprogesterone. Individuals with a history of blood clots or clotting disorders should use this medication with caution.
  • Weight Gain: Some individuals may experience weight gain while using medroxyprogesterone, which can be a concern for some.
  • Diabetes: Women with diabetes may experience changes in blood sugar levels while on medroxyprogesterone, and close monitoring of blood glucose may be necessary.
  • Liver Function: Regular monitoring of liver function may be required, especially in individuals with pre-existing liver conditions.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and communicate any concerns or side effects you experience while using medroxyprogesterone. It’s essential to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider to assess the potential benefits and risks associated with this medication in your specific situation.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Medroxyprogesterone injection. However, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is important for overall health. If you are concerned about weight gain while using this medication, focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and engage in regular physical activity.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a scheduled Medroxyprogesterone injection:

  • Contraception: It’s important to receive the injection on time for it to be effective in preventing pregnancy. If you miss your scheduled injection by more than 13 weeks (91 days), consult your healthcare provider for advice. You may need to use an alternative contraceptive method in the meantime.
  • Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: If you miss a dose, contact your healthcare provider to reschedule the injection as soon as possible. You may experience irregular bleeding if the injection is delayed.
  • Endometriosis or Cancer Treatment: If you miss a dose, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for rescheduling and continue with your treatment plan as advised.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Medroxyprogesterone injection is a hormonal medication that is used for various purposes, including birth control and the treatment of certain medical conditions. Like any medication, it can cause side effects. Common side effects of medroxyprogesterone injection may include:

  • Menstrual Changes: Irregular bleeding or spotting is a common side effect, especially during the first few months of use. Some people may experience no periods at all (amenorrhea).
  • Weight Changes: Some individuals may experience weight gain while using medroxyprogesterone injection.
  • Headache: Headaches can occur as a side effect.
  • Breast Tenderness: Breast tenderness or discomfort is possible.
  • Mood Changes: Mood swings, depression, or changes in mood can occur in some individuals.
  • Decreased Libido: Some people may experience a decrease in sexual desire.
  • Acne: Acne or skin problems may develop.
  • Injection Site Reactions: Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site can occur.
  • Osteoporosis: Long-term use of medroxyprogesterone injection may increase the risk of bone thinning (osteoporosis), particularly if used for an extended period.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, allergic reactions to the medication can occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some people may experience side effects that are not listed here. If you experience severe or persistent side effects, consult your healthcare provider.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Refrigeration: Medroxyprogesterone injection vials should be stored in a refrigerator at a temperature between 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). Keep the vials in their original carton to protect them from light.
  • Do Not Freeze: Do not freeze the medication.
  • Shelf Life: Check the expiration date on the vial. Do not use the medication if it has passed its expiration date.


  • Proper Disposal: When disposing of used vials or syringes, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions or local guidelines for the safe disposal of medical waste. This may involve using a sharps container or returning them to a healthcare facility for proper disposal.
  • Do Not Flush: Do not flush the vials or syringes down the toilet or throw them in regular trash bins, as this can be harmful to the environment.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of an overdose or emergency situation related to Medroxyprogesterone Injection, take the following steps:

  • Contact Healthcare Provider: Seek medical attention immediately by contacting your healthcare provider or going to the nearest emergency room. Provide them with as much information as possible about the medication, including the dose and when it was administered.
  • Poison Control: You can also contact your local poison control center for guidance. In the United States, you can call the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

What other information should I know

  • Follow Healthcare Provider’s Instructions: Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for the timing and administration of Medroxyprogesterone injections. Adherence to the injection schedule is crucial for contraceptive effectiveness.
  • Contraceptive Effectiveness: Medroxyprogesterone Injection is highly effective when administered on time. However, its effectiveness may be reduced if doses are missed or delayed.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider while using this contraceptive to monitor for side effects and address any concerns or questions.
  • Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as they can interact with Medroxyprogesterone.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Discuss the use of Medroxyprogesterone with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Bone Health: If you are concerned about bone health, discuss this with your healthcare provider. They may recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements or other measures to support bone density.

Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for specific guidance on the storage, disposal, and emergency procedures related to Medroxyprogesterone Injection, and be sure to ask any questions or voice concerns you may have about its use.

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