Depo-Provera is a birth control medicine manufactured by Pfizer. It contains medroxyprogesterone, which is a form of progesterone. It is a female hormone that prevents ovulation and makes cervical mucus and uterine lining thick. It makes fertilization difficult by preventing sperm from reaching the uterus and thus prevents pregnancy. This medicine is also used for reduction of pain caused by endometriosis. It is also used for treatment of pain and symptoms of metastatic uterine or kidney cancer in women.

Depo-Provera injections are injected into muscle or under the skin. It is needed to be injected once a week or once in a trimester, according to patient’s need. It is not meant for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases or STDs such as HIV and AIDS. Patients need to use other form of contraception for preventing STDs.

This medicine should not be used by pregnant woman for any purpose as its use could cause birth defects in the unborn child. If a patient becomes pregnant, while using this medicine, she should immediately contact her doctor. Patients allergic to medroxyprogesterone, should not use Depo-Provera. Patients who are suffering from unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease, or a history of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, or blood clot, should not use this drug.

Medroxyprogesterone present in Depo-Provera could cause bone loss or osteoporosis, if taken for long duration. A patient suffering from kidney diseases, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, migraine headaches, diabetes, asthma, bone disease, osteoporosis, seizures or depression should also not use this drug. It could also pass to breast-feeding infants through breast milk and harm them. Nursing mothers should avoid this drug.

Use of Depo-Provera could cause changes in menstrual periods such as longer or heavier menstrual periods, weight gain, weakness, headache, confusion or disturbance of vision, speech and balance. It could also produce allergic reactions such as rashes, swelling or shortness of breath. Chest pain, sudden cough, rapid breathing, coughing up blood could also occur due to use of this medicine.

It could also cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice or other liver related problems.  These could be symptoms of serious liver diseases. Other side effect is decreased sex drive. Use of this medicine could also cause breast tenderness, lumps or breast cancer.

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