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Depo-Provera is an injection used to prevent pregnancy or relieve symptoms of endometrial or kidney cancer. It contains a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone. The medication comes in the form of a liquid that is injected into a muscle every week to every three months, depending on the reason for using it. Potential side effects may include headaches, weight gain, and irregular menstrual cycles.

What Is Depo-Provera?

Depo-Provera® (medroxyprogesterone intramuscular injection) is a prescription medication that contains medroxyprogesterone, a form of the hormone progesterone. It is approved for the following uses:
  • Preventing pregnancy
  • Relieving the symptoms of advanced endometrial cancer or kidney cancer.
Depo-Provera comes as a liquid that is injected into a muscle (intramuscular, or IM, injection). It is different from depo-subQ Provera 104™ (medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection), a medication that also contains medroxyprogesterone but is injected under the skin rather than into a muscle.
(Click Depo-Provera Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medicine?

Depo-Provera is manufactured by Pfizer Inc.

How Does Depo-Provera Work?

Depo-Provera contains medroxyprogesterone, a manmade (synthetic) form of progesterone. Progesterone is a progestin hormone that plays a key role in the menstrual cycle. Depo-Provera prevents pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). It also thins the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), preventing implantation (attachment of a fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus), and thickens the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
Depo-Provera can also slow down the growth of cancer cells in people with endometrial or kidney cancer. However, it does not cure the cancer.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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