Provera/Depo-Provera

Provera and Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) are made by Pharmacia and Upjohn for the treatment of endometriosis.

What is Provera/Depo-Provera?

Provera/Depo-Provera is a synthetic (artificial) progestogen and is similar to the progesterone produced naturally by the ovaries.

How Provera/Depo-Provera works

Provera/Depo-Provera works by stopping the ovaries ovulating (producing eggs) and tricking the body into a pseudo (false) pregnancy. Periods usually stop during treatment, but return within two to three months of treatment ending.

Administration and dosage of Provera/Depo-Provera

Provera comes in tablet form in strengths of 2.5mgs, 5mgs and 1 0mgs.
Depo-Provera is given as an intra-muscular injection in the buttock or the upper arm.
Provera is started on day one of the monthly cycle (first day of bleeding), 1 0mgs daily for ninety days continuously.
Depo-Provera is given at twelve week intervals. It is important that the injection be given only during the first five days after the beginning of a period.
Some blood spotting may occur during treatment, but no action is required for this.

Provera/Depo-Provera is not suitable for the treatment of children or the elderly.

When Provera/Depo-Provera should not be used (contra-indications)

  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Lactating women (breast feeding)
  • Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
  • History of thrombosis
  • Undiagnosed urinary tract bleeding
  • Oestrogen dependent cancer
  • Patients with a known sensitivity to Provera/Depo-Provera

Precautions in the use of Provera/Depo-Provera

  • Diabetic patients should be regularly checked. Epileptic patients should be regularly checked.
  • Patients with high blood pressure should have regular blood pressure checks.
  • Patients receiving treatment for depression should be monitored closely.
  • Patients with asthma need regular peak flow checks. Patients with kidney problems require close monitoring.

Side effects of Provera/Depo-Provera

  • Cramp
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Headaches
  • Bloating/fluid retention
  • Nausea
  • Sore breasts
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of sleep
  • Acne
  • Increased hair growth
  • Skin rash
  • Hair loss
  • Dry sore vagina

As with all treatments, you may have no side effects at all, or you may have a few but it is rare to experience multiple side effects.
Do remember to report any side effects to your medical practitioner and ask for advice.

Notes on Provera/Depo-Provera

Make sure that you are not pregnant before starting treatment. A pregnancy test is advisable.

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