What Is Medroxyprogesterone Used For?
Medroxyprogesterone comes in three forms and is approved for a number of uses. For example, it can be used to treat abnormal vaginal bleeding, restore normal menstrual periods in certain women, and prevent pregnancy. Medroxyprogesterone is also used "off-label" in some situations, such as for the reduction of sexual aggression in men with dementia.
An Overview of Uses for Medroxyprogesterone
Medroxyprogesterone (Provera®, Depo-Provera®, depo-subQ Provera 104®) is a prescription progestin hormone. It has several uses. Oral medroxyprogesterone (Provera) is approved for the following uses:
- Restoring normal menstrual periods in women who used to have regular periods but have not had them for several months (amenorrhea)
- Treating abnormal vaginal bleeding due to an imbalance in hormones
- Reducing the risk for cancer of the uterus by preventing endometrial hyperplasia (a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows too thick) in postmenopausal women who are taking estrogen.
Using hormones such as medroxyprogesterone in combination with estrogen is called combination hormone therapy, or combination HT. Combination HT is normally used to treat bothersome symptoms of menopause. The combination of estrogen with a progestin hormone is only necessary for women who still have a uterus. Women who have had a hysterectomy may receive estrogen alone.
Combination HT is associated with a variety of health risks, such as heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Because of these risks, it is recommended that combination HT be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period necessary. Women who are taking combination HT should be evaluated by their healthcare provider on a regular basis to assess whether they still need treatment.
Medroxyprogesterone also comes as an intramuscular injection (Depo-Provera) and a subcutaneous injection (depo-subQ Provera 104). Both injections are approved to prevent pregnancy.
In addition, medroxyprogesterone intramuscular injection is approved to ease the symptoms of advanced kidney cancer and endometrial cancer (this is known as palliative care). Medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection is approved to manage pain from endometriosis (a condition in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows in other areas of the body).
(Click What Is Medroxyprogesterone Intramuscular Injection Used For? and What Is Medroxyprogesterone Subcutaneous Injection Used For? for more information about the uses of these particular products.)