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Back to Drug index

Back to Progestins

Name: Medroxyprogesterone acetate

Pregnancy Category X

Drug classes

  • Hormonal agent
  • Progestin
  • Antineoplastic
  • Therapeutic actions

Progesterone derivative; endogenous progesterone transforms proliferative endometrium into secretory endometrium; inhibits the secretion of pituitary gonadotropins, which prevents follicular maturation and ovulation; inhibits spontaneous uterine contraction.


Treatment of secondary amenorrhea (oral)

Abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance in the absence of organic pathology (oral)
Adjunctive therapy and palliative treatment of inoperable, recurrent, and metastatic endometrial carcinoma or renal carcinoma (parenteral)

Unlabeled use for depot form: long-acting contraceptive, treatment of breast cancer


Contraindicated in the presence of allergy to progestins; thrombophlebitis, thromboembolic disorders, cerebral hemorrhage or history of these conditions; hepatic disease, carcinoma of the breast or genital organs, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, missed abortion; pregnancy (fetal abnormalities, including masculinization of the female fetus have been reported); lactation.

Use caution in the presence of epilepsy, migraine, asthma, cardiac or renal dysfunction.

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Adverse effects

  • CNS: Sudden, partial, or complete loss of vision; proptosis, diplopia, migraine, precipitation of acute intermittent porphyria, mental depression, pyrexia, insomnia, somnolence
  • GI: Cholestatic jaundice, nausea
  • CV: Thrombophlebitis, cerebrovascular disorders, retinal thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, thromboembolic and thrombotic disease, increased blood pressure
  • GU: Breakthrough bleeding, spotting, change in menstrual flow, amenorrhea, changes in cervical erosion and cervical secretions, breast tenderness and secretion
  • Dermatologic: Rash with or without pruritus, acne, melasma or chloasma, alopecia, hirsutism, photosensitivity
  • General: Fluid retention, edema, increase or decrease in weight
  • Other: Decreased glucose tolerance

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