Depo-Provera – Information, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage


Drug Trade Name-Depo-Provera, Depo-Provera Contraceptive

Category- Contraceptive

Generic Name- Medroxyprogesterone

Introduction and Quick Information


Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone) is a reversible hormonal contraceptive birth control medicine that is prescribed to control unwanted birth. Depo-Provera is a highly efficient birth-control drug and if it is used properly, it proves 99% beneficial for controlling birth.  Apart from this, it also used to decrease pain and related discomforts caused by endometriosis.

Physicians or doctors also prescribe this medicine sometimes to ease the pain and related symptoms in women with kidney cancer or metastatic uterine while there is no such medical evidence that shows that depo-provera can cure these health conditions.

Is Depo-Provera approved by FDA?

Although Depo-Provera is prescribed for the treatment of several health issues but United States food and drug administration (FDA) has approved this drug for conceptive uses on 17 December. However on 25 March 2005, it was also approved for treatment of management of endometriosis-related pain by FDA.

Usage and benefits of Depo-Provera

Depo-Provera belongs to a group of a drug called progestin. Depo-Provera comes in both injection and table form and is used to prevent pregnancy in all women by reducing the amount of estrogen which is produced by the body naturally. Its injection form is a very effective method to control unwanted birth but it cannot prevent the spread of human immunodeficiency virus such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Depo-Provera- Benefits

  • You can enjoy sex without any fear of pregnancy
  • You can use this medicine everyday (only if doctor prescribed) or you can use before sexual intercourse
  • Privacy is the best advantage of this medicine as no will know that you are using this method to prevent pregnancy.
  • In rare case, It can also decrease the risk of endometrial cancer
  • Although it is an effective medicine for prevention of unwanted pregnancy however you should not use this medicine without a doctor’s prescription.
  • Decreases risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, iron deficiency anemia, ectopic pregnancy, uterine fibroids
  • Decrease symptoms of endometriosis

Side effects of Depo-Provera

Seek immediate medical emergency help or attention and call your doctor if you experience any of these adverse reactions while taking Depo-Provera. Here they are-

  • swelling of your hands, ankles, or feet
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
  • symptoms of depression (weakness, sleep problems, mood changes)
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • confusion, problems with vision, speech or balance
  • sudden headache, fever
  • increased acne, hair growth, loss of scalp hair
  • back pain or pelvic pain
  • decreased sex drive
  • vaginal itching or discharge
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • changes in your menstrual periods
  • tired feeling, headache, nervousness, dizziness
  • mild stomach pain, breast tenderness or discharge
  • changes in weight or appetite
  • bloating, nausea
  • skin rash or mild itching
  • skin color changes or a hard lump formation where the injection was given

These are some medically known adverse reactions of Depo-Provera. In case of side effects, immediate medical attention is always recommended. However this is not a complete list of side effects, you can ask your doctor to provide complete information about Depo-Provera’s side effects

General Recommended Dosage of Depo-Provera

Injection of depo-provera is quite commonly prescribed as compared to tablets. It is given into the muscle (generally buttock or upper arm). Your personal healthcare provider or nurse will give Depo-Provera injection. You should never try to self-inject this medicine as it has lots of adverse effects if not injected properly.


Depo-Provera may be given to you once in 7 days or once in every 3 months but this totally depends on the purpose of using this medicine. You should follow every instruction given by your doctor.

While taking Depo-Provera dosage, if you experience any sort of health issues or discomforts then you should immediately contact your doctor to make sure that you are safe from every side effect and are on right track.

In Case I Miss a Dose?

Inform your doctor if you miss a dose of this medication and follow further given instruction by your healthcare provider. If you have been taking Depo-Provera conceptive tablet, then you should seek immediate medical help as this form of Depo-Provera can have various effects on your health (depending on your health condition).

In case I take overdose?

Overdose of this medicine can have some severe effects on the health. Seek for medical attention if you have taken larger amount of this medicine than recommended. Overdose of Depo-Provera is not likely to produce life-threatening situation.

Drug Interactions of Depo-Provera

Before taking the depo-provera conceptive drug, inform your doctor if you have been taking aminoglutethimide (cytadren) or related medicines.

You can ask your doctor about other drug interactions with Depo-Provera as there no such drug interaction list generally available. Only your healthcare provider can give right information.

Lifestyle and Food habit you must follow when on Depo-Provera

This medicine can cause bone loss (osteoporosis) especially if you have been taking this medicine for more than 2 years. It has been medically advised that one should not use this medicine more than 2 years of time due to some severe bone diseases.

 You should not use this medicine if you have an allergic reaction with medroxyprogesterone. You must inform the doctor in case you have any of the below mentioned diseases or health condition

  • breast cancer
  • liver disease
  • blood clot or stroke history
  • Vaginal bleeding which is not normal
  • diabetes
  • congestive heart failure
  • seizures or epilepsy
  • A history of depression

Do not take this medicine without telling your health care provider; notify him or her in case you are breast-feeding a baby. You can ask your doctor if there is any kind of food you should not eat while taking this medication as some food can affects your health during treatment.

How safe is Depo-Provera for Pregnant women and Nursing Mothers?

Since, it is a contraceptive drug you can not take it if you want to conceive. There are no known medical evidence that show that this medicine has a harmful effect on babies. However you should not take Depo-Provera without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Complications and Conditions Possible due to prolonged use of Depo-Provera

It is strictly advised that one should never use this medicine for 2 and more than 2 years as it can lead to bone loss and related condition to the body. This medicine does not have habit-forming capabilities so you do not need to worry about any sort of additional problems from this medication as it does not come in this category. You may ask for further information about prolonged effects of the medicine from your doctor or healthcare provider.

Availability of the Depo-Provera

You can easily buy this medicine from government approved or licensed or FDA approved medical stores or drug stores. This is a common medicine and widely used by women to prevent unwanted pregnancy.This is a prescribed medicine and will get it only if you have one.