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Methylacetoxyprogesterone (Generic Medroxyprogesterone)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Medroxyprogesterone is a medication that is primarily prescribed for several different medical purposes. It is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, and its uses include:

  • Contraception: Medroxyprogesterone, often referred to as the “Depo shot” or “Depo-Provera,” is used as a long-acting contraceptive injection. It prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and altering the uterine lining, making it less receptive to implantation.
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): In postmenopausal women, medroxyprogesterone may be prescribed as part of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. It is often used in combination with estrogen.
  • Treatment of Irregular Menstrual Periods: Medroxyprogesterone can be used to regulate irregular menstrual periods in women who have abnormal or unpredictable menstrual cycles.
  • Endometriosis: It is sometimes used to treat endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. Medroxyprogesterone can help reduce the growth of this tissue and relieve associated pain.
  • Management of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: Medroxyprogesterone may be prescribed to manage abnormal uterine bleeding, such as heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
  • Cancer Treatment: In some cases, medroxyprogesterone may be used as part of cancer treatment, particularly in the treatment of certain types of uterine cancer.

How should this medicine be used?

The dosage and administration of medroxyprogesterone can vary depending on the specific medical condition being treated. It is essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and the prescription label carefully. Here are some general guidelines for its use:

  • Medroxyprogesterone is available in various forms, including oral tablets, injections, and sometimes as a topical cream or gel. The form and dosage prescribed will depend on your condition and your healthcare provider’s recommendations.
  • If you are using medroxyprogesterone as contraception (Depo-Provera), it is typically administered as an intramuscular injection every 12 to 13 weeks. It is important to schedule these injections regularly to maintain contraceptive effectiveness.
  • When using oral tablets, take them as directed by your healthcare provider. Usually, they are taken once daily, often at the same time each day.
  • For other uses, follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the frequency and duration of treatment.

It’s crucial to discuss any potential side effects, risks, and benefits of medroxyprogesterone with your healthcare provider before starting the medication. Additionally, if you have any concerns or experience unusual symptoms while taking medroxyprogesterone, be sure to contact your healthcare provider for guidance.

Other uses for this medicine

  • Cancer Treatment: In some cases, Medroxyprogesterone may be used to treat certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer and kidney cancer. It may help slow the growth of cancer cells in these cases.
  • Appetite Stimulation: Medroxyprogesterone has been used to stimulate appetite in individuals with severe weight loss or appetite problems.
  • Migraine Prevention: Some doctors may prescribe it for the prevention of menstrual migraines.
  • Endometriosis: It can be used to manage pain associated with endometriosis, although other treatments are often preferred.

What special precautions should I follow?

As with any medication, it’s important to take certain precautions when using medroxyprogesterone. Here are some special precautions to keep in mind:

  • Medical History: Before starting medroxyprogesterone, inform your healthcare provider of your complete medical history, including any allergies, medical conditions, or past reactions to medications.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of using medroxyprogesterone with your healthcare provider. It is generally not recommended during pregnancy unless specifically prescribed.
  • Blood Clot Risk: There is a potential increased risk of blood clots with medroxyprogesterone use. Inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of blood clots or conditions that increase clotting risk, such as smoking, obesity, or a family history of clotting disorders.
  • Bone Health: Long-term use of medroxyprogesterone, particularly in high doses, may lead to a loss of bone density. Discuss this risk with your healthcare provider, especially if you are at risk for osteoporosis.
  • Interactions: Be sure to inform your healthcare provider of all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking, as medroxyprogesterone may interact with other drugs.
  • Side Effects: Pay attention to potential side effects of medroxyprogesterone, which can include changes in menstrual bleeding, weight gain, mood swings, and more. Report any severe or unusual side effects to your healthcare provider.
  • Regular Check-ups: Your healthcare provider may recommend regular check-ups while you are using medroxyprogesterone to monitor your response to the medication and assess any potential side effects.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and dosing instructions carefully when using medroxyprogesterone, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification about any concerns you may have about the medication or its use.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Medroxyprogesterone. However, maintaining a healthy diet is generally important for overall health. If you have specific concerns about your diet while taking Medroxyprogesterone, discuss them with your healthcare provider, who can provide personalized guidance based on your medical condition.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Medroxyprogesterone, follow these general guidelines:

  • Take It as Soon as You Remember: If you remember within a few hours of the missed dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • Skip the Dose if It’s Close to the Next: If it’s close to the time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses to make up for the missed one.
  • Use Backup Contraception: If you are using Medroxyprogesterone for contraception and you miss a dose or take it late, use backup contraception methods (e.g., condoms) for the next 48 hours to ensure protection against pregnancy.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you are unsure about what to do or if you frequently miss doses, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Medroxyprogesterone, like many medications, can cause side effects in some individuals. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience these side effects, and some people may experience them to a greater degree than others. Common side effects of medroxyprogesterone include:

  • Irregular Menstrual Bleeding: This is one of the most common side effects. It can result in irregular periods, spotting between periods, or even prolonged or heavy bleeding.
  • Weight Gain: Some individuals may experience weight gain while taking medroxyprogesterone.
  • Breast Tenderness: Breast tenderness or discomfort can occur in some users.
  • Mood Changes: Mood swings, changes in mood, or mild depression may be reported by some users.
  • Headache: Headaches are another possible side effect.
  • Abdominal Pain or Cramps: Some individuals may experience abdominal discomfort or cramps.
  • Nausea: Nausea is a less common side effect but can occur in some cases.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur, especially when standing up quickly.
  • Acne: An increase in acne or skin oiliness has been reported by some users.
  • Changes in Libido: Some individuals may experience changes in sexual desire (either an increase or a decrease).
  • Hair Growth: In rare cases, there may be increased hair growth or changes in hair texture.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to medroxyprogesterone, including hives, rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
  • Bone Density Loss: With long-term use, particularly in high doses, medroxyprogesterone may lead to a loss of bone density. This is a concern, especially for postmenopausal women, and should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

It’s important to remember that while these side effects are possible, many people tolerate medroxyprogesterone well and do not experience significant issues. Additionally, some side effects may diminish or resolve over time as your body adjusts to the medication.

If you experience severe or persistent side effects, or if you have concerns about the side effects of medroxyprogesterone, it’s crucial to discuss them with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on managing side effects and may adjust your treatment plan if necessary. Additionally, if you notice any unusual or severe symptoms while taking medroxyprogesterone, seek medical attention promptly.

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


  • Store at Room Temperature: Medroxyprogesterone tablets should be stored at room temperature, away from excessive heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep Out of Reach of Children: Store the medication in a secure location where children and pets cannot access it.
  • Proper Container: Keep medroxyprogesterone in its original container or packaging to prevent confusion with other medications.
  • Do Not Freeze: Do not freeze the medication, as freezing can affect its stability.


  • Safe Disposal: When disposing of expired or unused medroxyprogesterone, follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Do not flush it down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so.
  • Medication Take-Back Programs: Many communities and pharmacies have medication take-back programs or drop-off locations where you can safely dispose of unused medications. Check with local authorities or your pharmacist for information on such programs in your area.
  • Do Not Share: Do not share your prescription medication with others, even if they have similar symptoms or conditions. The medication is prescribed specifically for your medical needs.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of emergency or a suspected overdose of medroxyprogesterone, seek immediate medical attention or contact a poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (in the United States). Be prepared to provide information about the medication, the dosage taken, and the person’s age and weight.

What other information should I know

  • Follow Medical Advice: Take medroxyprogesterone exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change the dosage or stop taking it without consulting your healthcare provider, even if you feel better.
  • Regular Check-Ups: If you are using medroxyprogesterone long-term, such as for contraception or hormone replacement therapy, your healthcare provider may recommend regular check-ups to monitor your health and assess the continued need for the medication.
  • Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider of all medications, supplements, and herbal products you are taking to avoid potential interactions with medroxyprogesterone.
  • Medical Conditions: Inform your healthcare provider of any medical conditions you have, as this can affect whether medroxyprogesterone is a suitable treatment option for you.
  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider of any allergies you have, especially if you have known allergies to medications or similar compounds.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Discuss the use of medroxyprogesterone with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Regular Follow-Up: If you are using medroxyprogesterone for contraception or a specific medical condition, it’s important to schedule regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to discuss its effectiveness and any potential side effects.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations and instructions for using medroxyprogesterone. If you have any questions or concerns about the medication or its use, do not hesitate to discuss them with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

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