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Medroxyprogesterone and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should not use medroxyprogesterone (Provera, Depo-Provera, depo-subQ Provera 104). This medication has a pregnancy Category X rating, which means the risks outweigh any potential benefits. Early studies suggest an increased risk of birth defects or decreased birth weight when this drug is used during pregnancy. However, it is still unclear how significant these risks may actually be.

Is Medroxyprogesterone Safe During Pregnancy?

Medroxyprogesterone (Provera®, Depo-Provera®, depo-subQ Provera 104®) is a form of progesterone, a progestin hormone made by the body. It has several uses in premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
Medroxyprogesterone is a pregnancy Category X medication, which means the potential risks of its use during pregnancy outweigh any potential benefits. This drug has no well-established uses during pregnancy and should not be used in pregnant women.

What Is Pregnancy Category X?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medicines that show problems to the fetus in animal studies or in human use of the medication. With this category, the potential risks clearly outweigh the potential benefits.
Early studies suggest medroxyprogesterone may increase the risk for abnormal development of the baby's genitals when used in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, not all studies show an association between medroxyprogesterone use and abnormal genital development. Therefore, it is unclear how significant the risk truly is.
This medicine may also decrease a baby's birth weight if given to a pregnant woman early in pregnancy. However, studies have shown that any decrease in birth weight does not affect a child's later growth or development.
Although medroxyprogesterone is considered a pregnancy Category X medicine, unintentional exposure to the drug in early pregnancy, which could happen if a woman takes the medicine before realizing she is pregnant, does not appear to significantly increase the risk for birth defects. Once a woman knows she is pregnant, however, there is no reason to continue medroxyprogesterone treatment.
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Medroxyprogesterone Drug Information

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