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Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone Acetate) - Summary



Women who use Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection may lose significant bone mineral density. Bone loss is greater with increasing duration of use and may not be completely reversible.

It is unknown if use of Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection during adolescence or early adulthood, a critical period of bone accretion, will reduce peak bone mass and increase the risk for osteoporotic fracture in later life.

Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection should not be used as a long-term birth control method (i.e., longer than 2 years) unless other birth control methods are considered inadequate. (See Warnings and Precautions ).



Depo-Provera CI contains medroxyprogesterone acetate, a derivative of progesterone, as its active ingredient. Medroxyprogesterone acetate is active by the parenteral and oral routes of administration. It is a white to off-white; odorless crystalline powder that is stable in air and that melts between 200°C and 210°C. It is freely soluble in chloroform, soluble in acetone and dioxane, sparingly soluble in alcohol and methanol, slightly soluble in ether, and insoluble in water.

Depo-Provera CI is indicated only for the prevention of pregnancy. The loss of bone mineral density (BMD) in women of all ages and the impact on peak bone mass in adolescents should be considered, along with the decrease in BMD that occurs during pregnancy and/or lactation, in the risk/benefit assessment for women who use Depo-Provera CI long-term [see Warnings and Precautions ].

See all Depo-Provera indications & dosage >>


Published Studies Related to Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone)

Elagolix, an oral GnRH antagonist, versus subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate for the treatment of endometriosis: effects on bone mineral density. [2014]
This randomized double-blind study, with 24-week treatment and 24-week posttreatment periods, evaluated the effects of elagolix (150 mg every day, 75 mg twice a day) versus subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) on bone mineral density (BMD), in women with endometriosis-associated pain (n = 252)...

A four week randomised control trial of adjunctive medroxyprogesterone and tamoxifen in women with mania. [2014]
Emerging research has suggested that hormone treatments such as selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) or progestins may be useful in the treatment of mania. The current pilot study compared the use of the SERM tamoxifen and the progestin medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), as an adjunct to mood stabiliser medications, for the treatment of mania symptoms in 51 women in a 28-day double blind, placebo controlled study...

Differential effects of estrogen and micronized progesterone or medroxyprogesterone acetate on cognition in postmenopausal women. [2011.08]
OBJECTIVE: To investigate possible differential effects of the coadministration of conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) and a placebo (CEE + PL), CEE and medroxyprogesterone acetate (CEE + MPA), or CEE and micronized P (CEE + MP) on aspects of cognitive functioning in naturally postmenopausal women...

Effects of percutaneous estradiol-oral progesterone versus oral conjugated equine estrogens-medroxyprogesterone acetate on breast cell proliferation and bcl-2 protein in healthy women. [2011.03.01]
In a prospective, randomized clinical study 77 women were assigned randomly to receive sequential hormone therapy with either conventional oral conjugated equine estrogens (0.625 mg) with the addition on 14 of the 28 days of oral medroxyprogesterone acetate (5 mg) or natural E(2) gel (1.5 mg) with oral micronized P (200 mg) on 14 of the 28 days of each cycle.

Differential effects of estrogen and micronized progesterone or medroxyprogesterone acetate on cognition in postmenopausal women. [2011]
OBJECTIVE: To investigate possible differential effects of the coadministration of conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) and a placebo (CEE + PL), CEE and medroxyprogesterone acetate (CEE + MPA), or CEE and micronized P (CEE + MP) on aspects of cognitive functioning in naturally postmenopausal women... These findings need to be replicated with a larger sample size before their potential clinical implications can be determined.

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone)

Pilot Study of Femring Estrogen Supplementation During Depo-Provera Initiation [Completed]
Many women choose Depo-Provera for birth control because it is easy to use and very effective. However, a significant number of Depo-Provera users experience irregular bleeding during the first 90 days. Many users discontinue after their first injection due to irregular bleeding. This study will evaluate the effect of using an estrogen vaginal ring during the first 90 days of Depo-Provera use to see if it is acceptable to women and whether it decreases irregular bleeding during the first 90 days of use and increases continuation to a second injection.

Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Injection 150 mg/1 mL in Postmenopausal Women [Completed]
This study compared the rates and extents of medroxyprogesterone absorption from two medroxyprogesterone acetate injection formulations following single 150 mg intramuscular (IM) injections to healthy postmenopausal women.

Pharmacokinetic Interactions Between DMPA and LPV/Rit Among HIV-Infected Women [Completed]
This study is being done to look at the level of Depo-Provera, an injectable birth control, in the blood to see whether it is affected by the anti-HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir [LPV/r]). It is not known whether taking Depo-Provera together with Kaletra changes the amount of Kaletra in blood. Therefore, this study will also look at the levels of HIV and Kaletra before and after receiving a shot of Depo-Provera. This study will take a look at the safety of Depo-Provera and Kaletra when they are used together. In addition to what is stated above, this study will also explore any effect of Depo-Provera on the immune system.

Depo Provera Self-Administration Study: Putting a Patient-Centered Practice to the Test at Planned Parenthood [Not yet recruiting]
This randomized clinical trial will study subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA sc) self-administration at two Planned Parenthood affiliates serving diverse patient populations. Prior studies demonstrate that DMPA self-injection is safe, effective, feasible, and acceptable for women and adolescents. A total of 400 female patients (ages 15-44) requesting DMPA will be randomized to self-administration of DMPA sc or clinic administration (usual care). Subjects will be followed for one year. The primary study outcome is DMPA continuation at one year by self-report in both study arms. Secondary outcomes include patient-reported satisfaction with treatment; satisfaction with home use; and costs associated with contraceptive care. The investigators hypothesize higher continuation rates among self-injection users compared to patients who receive standard care. Secondary exploratory hypotheses include higher patient satisfaction and lower costs associated with contraceptive care among self-injection users.

Timing of Postpartum Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Administration on Breastfeeding, Contraceptive Continuation, and Depression [Recruiting]
In the United States, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is given to women after delivery and before hospital discharge with the belief that women who delay starting DMPA may be more likely to become pregnant when they are not yet ready to be pregnant and that giving DMPA before discharge has little to no negative effect on breastfeeding. Administering DMPA to breastfeeding women has not been widely questioned because the limited existing studies do not show any adverse impact of DMPA on breastfeeding. However, these studies used inappropriate control groups and did not control for prior lactation experience. The investigators plan to enroll 184 women who are planning to breastfeed and use DMPA after delivery to find out whether the timing of postpartum administration of DMPA (prior to hospital discharge or 4-6 weeks after delivery) affects the duration or exclusivity of breastfeeding among women who plan to breastfeed their infants. The investigators will also look at rates of use of highly effective contraception (defined as DMPA, intrauterine device, implant, sterilization, or lactational amenorrhea) and postpartum depression.

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Reports of Suspected Depo-Provera (Medroxyprogesterone) Side Effects

Headache (41)Menorrhagia (41)Drug Ineffective (39)Unintended Pregnancy (39)Weight Increased (36)Depression (30)Fatigue (29)Amenorrhoea (27)Anxiety (25)Alopecia (24)more >>


Based on a total of 13 ratings/reviews, Depo-Provera has an overall score of 5.31. The effectiveness score is 9.69 and the side effect score is 5.38. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst. Below are selected reviews: the highest, the median and the lowest rated.

Depo-Provera review by 28 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   Birth Control
Dosage & duration:   150mg/ml taken every 10-13 weeks for the period of for 9 years
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   OTC pain relievers
Reported Results
Benefits:   I was taking this drug as birth control, and it has been extremely effective. (No children, yet!) The fact that you only need to take it four times a year is great, so it is difficult to miss a dose. (Unlike the pill, which you take everyday, and missing it even once alters it's effectiveness.) As an added bonus, I no longer have my period, which were extremely painful and disrupted my life for a whole week every month. I no longer suffer from PMS symptoms, either. I can not complain about this drug at all.
Side effects:   I have not experienced any side effects from this medication. Losing my period was an anticipated side effect, and although many feel that this is too much for them and discontinue use of this drug, it is a good side effect for me. Also there are studies that show bone mineral density is affected by this drug, but I have undergone a bone density scan, with normal results. This is great, considering I have been on Depo for nine years now, since I turned nineteen and for most of my twenties.
Comments:   This drug is administered into a muscle by injection four times a year, by a physician. The shot is given every ten to thirteen weeks. Besides being used as birth control, it is also used to treat other conditions.


Depo-Provera review by 42 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   Moderate Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   contraception
Dosage & duration:   1 shot every three months (dosage frequency: 8 times) for the period of 2 years
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   none
Reported Results
Benefits:   It was 100% effectiv as contraception, the mayor benefit is not having to rememeber to take the pill every day and that it has only one form of hormon, which is important for woman over 35, especially smokers.
Side effects:   The side effects were like a prevision of menopause - huge weight gain (20 pounds), incredible mood swings and severe bloating. My overall feeling was quite depressed and it took me a while to figure out that it had to do with the drug, not with what was going on in my personal life. I also thought that the weight gain was partially retlated to quiting smking.
Comments:   One shot in the upper arm every three months, that's it!


Depo-Provera review by 29 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Considerably Effective
Side effects:   Extremely Severe Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   contraception pill
Dosage & duration:   1 injection every 3 months (dosage frequency: as above) for the period of 6 months
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   none
Reported Results
Benefits:   prevented pregnancy as it is a form of contraceptive but unfortunately it takes away your libido and sex drive
Side effects:   weight gain:25kg in 3 weeks,never recovered my original weight and it has been 9 years now.it blocks your sex drive not to say it cuts it off completely,depression
Comments:   one injection and my life turned to hell as started to bloat like a milking cow,lost self esteem and fiance,lost friends,lost will to live,no sex drive,no self love

See all Depo-Provera reviews / ratings >>

Page last updated: 2015-08-10

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