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What is medroxyprogesterone

Medroxyprogesterone is a form of progesterone, which is a female hormone. Medroxyprogesterone is used to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary), by causing the cervical mucous to thicken, which makes it harder for sperm to move toward the uterus, and by causing shedding of the endometrium (menstruation). Medroxyprogesterone also helps treat symptoms of certain types of cancer.

Medroxyprogesterone is used as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. Injectable medroxyprogesterone may also be used in the treatment of inoperable, recurrent, and metastatic endometrial or renal carcinoma.

Medroxyprogesterone may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

General medical information about medroxyprogesterone

Avoid smoking cigarettes during treatment with medroxyprogesterone. Smoking may increase the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.

Medroxyprogesterone contraceptive does not offer protection from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to obtain protection from these diseases.

What you should discuss with your doctor before using medroxyprogesterone

Before using medroxyprogesterone, tell your doctor if you have:
- high blood pressure, angina, or heart disease;
- had a stroke;
- a history of unusual bleeding or blood-clotting;
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- a personal or family history of breast cancer, uterine, or another hormone-related cancer;
- undiagnosed, abnormal vaginal bleeding;
- a history of intracranial hypertension (increased blood pressure in the head);
- problems with the eyes;
- osteoporosis;
- depression;
- migraines;
- diabetes;
- asthma; or
- seizures or epilepsy.

You may not be able to use medroxyprogesterone or you may require special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Medroxyprogesterone is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that medroxyprogesterone is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can have serious negative effects on a developing baby. Notify your doctor immediately if you think you might be pregnant.

Medroxyprogesterone passes into breast milk but do not appear to affect a nursing baby. Talk to your doctor before using medroxyprogesterone if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should you use medroxyprogesterone

Use medroxyprogesterone exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Medroxyprogesterone is usually injected by a healthcare provider. If you are injecting medroxyprogesterone at home, your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions on administration of the medication.

When used as birth control, the initial injection will be given during the first 5 days of a normal menstrual period, within the first 5 days after giving birth if not breast-feeding, or at the sixth week after giving birth if exclusively breast-feeding.

When used as birth control, medroxyprogesterone should be injected once every 3 months (13 weeks). It is important that each injection be given at exactly a 3 month interval to ensure continued contraceptive protection.

If medroxyprogesterone is being used in the treatment of cancer or for other purposes not described here, your doctor or healthcare provider will give you additional information regarding use and storage of the medication.

Your healthcare provider will store medroxyprogesterone as directed by the manufacturer.

If you miss a dose:

If a dose of medroxyprogesterone contraceptive is missed or delayed past the 3 month interval, another form of birth control should be used to ensure contraceptive protection. Contact your healthcare provider if a dose is missed or delayed.

Contact your doctor if a dose of medroxyprogesterone is missed when being used in the treatment of cancer.

What happens if you overdose:

An overdose of medroxyprogesterone is unlikely to threaten life. Seek medical attention if an overdose of medroxyprogesterone is suspected.

What should you avoid while using medroxyprogesterone

Avoid smoking cigarettes during treatment with medroxyprogesterone. Smoking may increase the risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.

Medroxyprogesterone contraceptive does not offer protection from sexually transmitted diseases--including HIV and AIDS. Using a condom is the only way to obtain protection from these diseases.

Possible side effects of medroxyprogesterone

If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, seek emergency medical attention or notify your doctor immediately:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- a blood clot in the lung (shortness of breath, pain in the chest, or coughing up blood);
- a blood clot in an arm or leg (pain, redness, swelling, or numbness of an arm or leg);
- severe headache or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, problems with eyesight or speech, weakness, or numbness in an arm or leg (indicating a possible stroke);
- high blood pressure (severe headache, flushing, blurred vision);
- liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue);
- unusually heavy menstrual bleeding; or
- persistent pain, pus, or bleeding at the injection site.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience
- irregular, increased, or decreased menstrual bleeding;
- no menstrual bleeding at all;
- pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site;
- headache or dizziness;
- nervousness;
- nausea;
- breast tenderness;
- changes in weight or appetite;
- oily skin or acne; or
- changes in hair growth.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect medroxyprogesterone

Aminoglutethimide (Cytadren) administered at the same time as medroxyprogesterone may decrease the effects of medroxyprogesterone. Generally, these medications should not be administered at the same time. Talk to your doctor before taking these medications together.

Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, while using medroxyprogesterone.

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