Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate

If you have delivered a baby prematurely in the past, your doctor may give you hydroxyprogesterone caproate to prevent it from happening in your current pregnancy. This medication is a synthetic version of progesterone, an important hormone for maintaining a pregnancy. Most women tolerate this injection well, but side effects may include swelling and pain at the injection site.

What Is Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate?

Hydroxyprogesterone caproate (Makena™) is a prescription injection used to prevent preterm birth in women who have delivered a baby too early in the past. It is the first and only medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this use.
(Click What Is Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

As with any medicine, hydroxyprogesterone caproate can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the medication will experience problems. Most people tolerate it quite well.
If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common.
Some of the common side effects of this medication include:
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Hives
  • Itching.
(Click Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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