Medroxyprogesterone acetate


It is used for the treatment of secondary amenorrhea (absence of three or more periods in a row).

Abnormal uterine bleeding, such as from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), due to hormonal imbalance.

Endometrial hyperplasia (overgrowth in the lining of the uterus) after menopause, this condition can be inhibited by the use of this drug while having estrogen hormone replacement therapy.

IUPAC name:
17-acetyl-17-hydroxy-6,10,13-trimethyl-1,2,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17-tetradeca dihydro cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one

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Drug class: progestins

Brand name: Provera

-Is it a drug that needs a prescription? YES

-Is it an OTC Drug? NO

Route of administration: Oral (tablet form)


Medroxyprogesterone acts similar to the female hormone, progestin. This drug is a synthetic form of progesterone (a hormone naturally produced after ovulation) and is given when the body is not making enough progesterone. It works by correcting the hormonal balance and regulating ovulation.  


Common side effects that may be caused by this medication are as follows: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, breast tenderness, insomnia,  loss of hair on the scalp, bloating, drowsiness, dizziness, weight gain or loss, change in vaginal discharge. If you notice any allergic reaction like rash, itching, swelling of feet, hand, leg, arm. Talk to your doctor immediately.

Sometimes, serious side effects may occur that include: shortness of breath, loss of vision, depression, yellowing of skin/eyes, sudden chest pain, painful urination, unusual numbness of arm/legs. Problems like heart attack, stroke, clotting in the lungs are rarely caused by this medication.


Symptoms of overdose may include severe nausea,  vomiting and trouble in breathing.


Following precautions should be taken before using this medication:

  1. If you are allergic to this drug or if you have any kind of allergy
  2. If you are having a medical history of liver disease, breast cancer, blood clots in your lung, brain, or eyes, migraine headaches, vaginal bleeding, bleeding in the brain, pregnancy loss, heart attack /stroke before using this medication.
  3. Also consult the doctor if you ever had a family medical history of lung disease, kidney disease, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, seizures, migraine headaches, asthma, diabetes, strokes, depression.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption as it makes you more drowsy,  loss of alertness may occur.
  5. Do not smoke as it will increase the risk of blood clots, high blood pressure, strokes/ heart attacks. 
  6. During pregnancy, this medication should be avoided.  If you become pregnant while taking medroxyprogesterone, consult your doctor immediately. This medication should be strictly avoided to test for pregnancy as it may harm the fetus.

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