Medroxyprogesterone Injection (Contraception)

What is this medication?

MEDROXYPROGESTERONE (me DROX ee proe JES te rone) prevents ovulation and pregnancy. It belongs to a group of medications called contraceptives. This medication is a progestin hormone.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Depo-Provera, Depo-subQ Provera 104


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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

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

  • Asthma
  • Blood clots
  • Breast cancer or family history of breast cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorder (anorexia nervosa)
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • If you often drink alcohol
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Migraine headaches
  • Osteoporosis, weak bones
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Tobacco smoker
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to medroxyprogesterone, other hormones, medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Depo-Provera CI contraceptive injection is given into a muscle. Depo-subQ Provera 104 injection is given under the skin. It is given in a hospital or clinic setting. The injection is usually given during the first 5 days after the start of a menstrual period or 6 weeks after delivery of a baby.

A patient package insert for the product will be given with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time. The sheet may change often.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed. These injections have been used in female children who have started having menstrual periods.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


What if I miss a dose?

Keep appointments for follow-up doses. You must get an injection once every 3 months. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your care team if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Antibiotics or medications for infections, especially rifampin and griseofulvin
  • Antivirals for HIV or hepatitis
  • Aprepitant
  • Armodafinil
  • Bexarotene
  • Bosentan
  • Medications for seizures like carbamazepine, felbamate, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital, primidone, topiramate
  • Mitotane
  • Modafinil
  • St. John's wort

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

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

Use of this product may cause you to lose calcium from your bones. Loss of calcium may cause weak bones (osteoporosis). Only use this product for more than 2 years if other forms of birth control are not right for you. The longer you use this product for birth control the more likely you will be at risk for weak bones. Ask your care team how you can keep strong bones.

You may have a change in bleeding pattern or irregular periods. Many females stop having periods while taking this medication.

If you have received your injections on time, your chance of being pregnant is very low. If you think you may be pregnant, see your care team as soon as possible.

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

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Blood clot—pain, swelling, or warmth in the leg, shortness of breath, chest pain
  • Gallbladder problems—severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
  • New or worsening migraines or headaches
  • Seizures
  • Stroke—sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, trouble speaking, confusion, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination, dizziness, severe headache, change in vision
  • Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
  • Worsening mood, feelings of depression

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

  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Dark patches of the skin on the face or other sun-exposed areas
  • Irregular menstrual cycles or spotting
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This injection is only given by a care team. It will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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