Provera Uses

How Does This Medicine Work?

Provera contains medroxyprogesterone, a synthetic (manufactured) form of progesterone, a progestin hormone. It works by replacing progesterone when the body is unable to make a sufficient amount.
When Provera is used for several days and then stopped, vaginal bleeding occurs. This bleeding is called "withdrawal bleeding" because it happens in response to the withdrawal of progestin. Withdrawal bleeding usually occurs three to seven days after a progestin such as Provera is stopped. This decrease in progestin levels causes the uterine lining (the endometrium) to slough off and bleed, which can help restore regular periods in women who have been having irregular periods or no periods at all.
Giving estrogens to postmenopausal women without a progestin can increase the risk for cancer of the lining of the uterus. Of course, this applies only to women who still have a uterus (who have not had a hysterectomy). Provera helps to decrease the risk for uterine cancer by preventing an overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (the endometrium), which may lead to cancer.
Unlike injectable forms of medroxyprogesterone that are approved to prevent pregnancy, Provera does not prevent ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary) when used at recommended doses.

Is It Safe for Children?

Provera is not approved for use in children, and has not been adequately studied in this group. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the particular benefits and risks of using Provera in children.

Can Older Adults Use It?

Provera is approved for use in postmenopausal women who are taking estrogen. The combination of estrogen plus progestin may be used short-term for intolerable symptoms of menopause. However, it is recommended that hormone therapy be used for the shortest time possible due to the potential for serious side effects with long-term use, such as:
Older adults may have a greater risk for these side effects due to underlying health conditions. Older adults who are experiencing symptoms of menopause should be evaluated by their healthcare provider every three to six months to determine if they still need hormone treatment.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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