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Important Instructions on Medroxyprogesterone

How Does Medroxyprogesterone Work?

Medroxyprogesterone is a synthetic form of progesterone, a progestin hormone. It works by replacing progesterone when the body is not making enough of it.
When medroxyprogesterone is given for several days and then stopped, vaginal bleeding occurs. This bleeding is called "withdrawal bleeding" because it happens in response to the withdrawal of progestin. Withdrawal bleeding usually occurs three to seven days after the progestin hormone (medroxyprogesterone) is stopped.
The drop in progestin levels causes the uterine lining (the endometrium) to slough off and bleed. This can help restore regular periods in women who have been having irregular periods or no periods at all.
Giving estrogens without a progestin to postmenopausal women can increase the risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus. This only applies to women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy). Medroxyprogesterone helps to decrease the risk of uterine cancer by preventing an overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), which may lead to cancer.
Injectable forms of medroxyprogesterone prevent pregnancy primarily by preventing ovulation (a release of an egg from the ovary). Medroxyprogesterone also thins the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) and thickens the cervical mucus. When used at the recommended dose, the oral forms do not prevent ovulation.

When and How to Use This Medication

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with medroxyprogesterone include the following:
  • This medication comes in different forms. The oral form (tablet form) is usually taken by mouth once a day. The injectable forms are given every three months to prevent pregnancy.
  • Injectable medroxyprogesterone is usually given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting.
  • Medroxyprogesterone can be taken with or without food. Try taking it with food if the medicine bothers your stomach.
  • Try to take this medicine at the same time each day, both to help you remember to take it and to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
  • For medroxyprogesterone to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
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