Medroxyprogesterone

Brand names of medroxyprogesterone

  • Alti-MPA
  • Amen
  • Curretab
  • Cycrin
  • Depo-Provera
  • Gen-Medroxy
  • Novo-Medrone
  • Penta-Medroxyprogesterone
  • Premphase
  • Prempro
  • Provera

Medroxyprogesterone medication is a derivative of the naturally occurring female progestin, progesterone (a hormone which facilitates regulating ovulation) and is used to treat conditions like lacking or erratic menstrual periods or unusual bleeding from the uterus. In fact, both progestins and estrogens are two main categories of female hormones. Progestins are mainly in control of all changes in the mucus as well as the endometrium (internal lining of the uterus) during the latter half or secretory phase of the menstrual cycle.

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Progestins arrange the endometrium or the inner lining of the uterus for embedding the embryo. When an embryo is implanted in the endometrium, for instance, if pregnancy occurs, progestins facilitate in sustaining the pregnancy. When used in high doses, progestins also have the ability to thwart the release of egg from the ovary (ovulation) and, thus, prevent a woman from becoming pregnant. In 1933, scientist isolated progestins for the first time and synthetic progesterone was made for the first time in the 1940s.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking medroxyprogesterone

As in the case of using any other medication, you ought to take a number of precautions before you start using medroxyprogesterone. Prior to beginning treatment with this medication, you should tell your doctor if you have any allergic reactions to medroxyprogesterone, corn or any other medicines. In addition, tell your doctor regarding all the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs, herbal products, nutritional supplements and vitamins being taken by you. Especially mention if you are taking aminoglutethimide (Cytadren). If you are taking any of the above mentioned substances, it may be necessary for your doctor to alter the doses of these medications to suit usage of medroxyprogesterone as well as to examine you cautiously for any adverse aftereffects caused by this drug or the other medications taken by you.

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In addition, before you start taking medroxyprogesterone, keep your doctor informed about your entire medical conditions. Tell your doctor if you are suffering from or have ever had cancer of the breast or any other female organs. You should also tell if you are enduring an unexplained vaginal hemorrhage, a missed abortion (a pregnancy that wrecked abruptly when the fetus died in the uterus, but was not forced out of the body), if you ever had a stroke or a mini-stroke, if you have blood clots in your legs, brain, eyes and lungs, if you suffer from migraine headaches, seizures, asthma, depression and diabetes. Also tell your doctor if you have or ever had any ailments of the heart, the kidneys and lungs.

Prior to starting treatment with medroxyprogesterone, you should also inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast feeding. In case you become pregnant while taking this medication, call your doctor straight away and tell him/ her about the problem. During the initial few months of pregnancy, it is advisable never to use medroxyprogesterone to test for pregnancy or to prevent a miscarriage. In fact, medroxyprogesterone is not known to prevent miscarriage, but, on the contrary, may cause harm to the fetus.

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In case women taking medroxyprogesterone require undergoing any operation or a dental surgery, tell your surgeon or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Usage

Medroxyprogesterone available in tablet form is given to treat secondary amenorrhea (termination of menstruation), anomalous hemorrhage from the uterus owing to hormonal imbalance and not because of fibroids (a benign tumor made up of fibrous and muscular tissue) and cancer as well as to prevent endometrial hyperplasia (overgrown endometrial lining) in women in postmenopausal stage who have not undergone a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus by surgery) and are receiving conjugated estrogens (a combination of estrogens present in numerous medications for treating menopause). Medroxyprogesterone is also available in injection form and this is used as contraception (birth control) as well as to treat the cancer of the endometrium (mucous membrane lining the uterus) and the kidneys. In addition, this drug may also be used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

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How to use medroxyprogesterone

Prior to using medroxyprogesterone and also whenever you get a refill, carefully read the patient information booklet given to you by your pharmacist. In case you are unable to comprehend certain parts of this literature or have any queries, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain it to you.

Medroxyprogesterone is an oral medication that needs to be taken as per your doctor's instructions. It is important to follow the dosage schedule prescribed by your doctor strictly. In case you have any queries regarding the dosing schedule, consult your doctor. In effect, the dosage of medroxyprogesterone is based on the medical condition of the patients as well as her response to the therapy.

If you are taking medroxyprogesterone in combination hormone replacement therapy (HRT) along with estrogens, usually this medication should be taken once everyday for the number of days each month prescribed by your doctor. It you are taking this medication to treat amenorrhea (stopped menstrual periods) and unusual uterine bleeding, you should take medroxyprogesterone once everyday for consecutive five to 10 days during the latter half of the planned menstrual cycle or as instructed by your physician. When you discontinue taking medroxyprogesterone, you may experience withdrawal bleeding normally within three to seven day after you have stopped taking the medication. In case your condition persists or worsens even after taking medroxyprogesterone, get in touch with your doctor and discuss the problem.

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In the event of missing a dose of medroxyprogesterone, take it immediately when you remember. However, if it is already time for the subsequent dose, skip the missed dose and go ahead with your prescribed dosing schedule. Never try to take a double dose of the medication with a view to catch up with the missed dose. Seek immediate medical help if you suspect you have taken an overdose of the medication. In addition, you ought to be aware of the fact that taking an overdose of combined estrogen and progestin therapy may result in vomiting and nausea, tenderness of the breast, dizziness, pain in the abdominal region, exhaustion, drowsiness as well as withdrawal bleeding.

How medroxyprogesterone works

Medroxyprogesterone works by slowing down the discharge of pituitary hormones, which, consecutively helps to regulate menstrual as well as the reproductive cycles. This drug also facilitates in changing the doings of the uterine cells, which results in condensing of the cervical mucus as well as a number of other things. When these alterations take place, it makes it reduces the possibility of a partner's sperm reaching and fertilizing an egg.

Side effects

Serious
  • abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • mental depression
  • loss of or change in speech, coordination, or vision
  • unexpected or increased flow of breast milk
  • skin rash
  • severe and sudden shortness of breath
Common
Less common
  • acne
  • hot flashes
  • loss or gain of scalp hair or body hair
  • loss of sexual desire
  • breast pain or tenderness
  • brown spots on skin
  • insomnia

Possible interactions

Medroxyprogesterone is known to interact with certain other drugs, herbal products, minerals, beverages and smoking tobacco. Hence, women taking this medication should avoid these substances. On the other hand, a number of herbs and minerals complement the use of medroxyprogesterone. If you want to use any of these herbs or minerals consult your doctor prior to adding them to the list of your medications.

It may be noted that the herb black cohosh is known to work by holding back luteinizing hormone (a gonadotrophic hormone released by the frontal lobe of the pituitary gland), attaching to estrogen receptors in the pituitary and also slowing down the secretion of luteinizing hormone. The ultimate impact is that this herb helps to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Therefore, you may talk to your doctor if you can use this herb along with taking medroxyprogesterone, especially if you are taking the drug for treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, it is important that you consult your doctor before you start taking black cohosh. In addition, taking calcium may also facilitate in providing relief from some of the PMS symptoms.

Taking some beverages concurrently with medroxyprogesterone may prove to be counter-effective. For instance, women taking medroxyprogesterone should avoid grapefruit juice. In effect, grapefruit juice slows down CYP3A4, a very important enzyme involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics in the body, which facilitates in removing this drug from the body. Women taking medroxyprogesterone should also shun smoking tobacco, since when tobacco is mixed with this drug it enhances the risks of having blood clots, strokes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and even heart attacks.

Women taking medroxyprogesterone should also avoid exposure to sunlight. Generally, use of this medication is likely to cause blemishes and dark areas or dark pigmentation known as melasma on your skin and exposure to sunlight will only help to deteriorate this effect. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid exposure to sunlight for prolonged periods, sunlamps as well as tanning booths. When it is necessary to go out in the sun, you should wear protective clothing, use a sunscreen and wear dark glasses.

Storage instructions

Medroxyprogesterone should always be stored at room temperature ranging between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). In addition, this drug must be kept in a dark and dry place. It is advisable never to store medroxyprogesterone in your bathroom, which is damp most of the times. Also store this medication is such a place that is beyond the reach of children and pets. When the medication becomes outdated or is not required any longer, discard it in the appropriate and safe manner. If required, talk to your pharmacist or the neighbourhood disposal company for further information regarding the safe manner of discarding the drug when it is no longer used.

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