Generic name: Medroxyprogesterone acetate.

Other brand names: Amen, Curretab, Cycrin, Depo-Provera.

Provera is a progestin and antineoplastic. It suppresses ovulation, causes thickening of cervical mucus, and induces sloughing of the lining of the uterus, and inhibits the growth of progestin-sensitive endometrial or renal cancer tissue.

Quick Facts About Provera


Used when menstrual periods have ceased or a female hormone imbalance is causing the uterus to bleed abnormally. Depo-Provera is used as a contraceptive injection, and to treat endometrial cancer. Also prescribed for endometriosis, endometrial hyperplasia, menopause symptoms, sexually aggress behavior in men, and sleep apnea (temporary breathing failure while sleeping).

Provera Dosage

Take with or between meals. Do not change brands unless directed by your doctor.

  • Usual adult dose: to restore menstrual periods — 5 to 10 milligrams daily for 5 to 10 days. Should experience bleeding for 3 to 7 days after stopping Provera. For abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance — 5 to 10 milligrams starting on the 16th or 21 st day of your menstrual cycle, for 5 to 10 days. Should experience bleeding for 3 to 7 days after stopping Provera.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Provera Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

no specific information available. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

Side effects: acne; anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reaction); blood clot in a vein, lungs, or brain; breakthrough bleeding between menstrual periods; breast tenderness or sudden or excessive flow of milk; cervical erosion or changes in secretions; depression; excessive growth of hair; fever; fluid retention; hair loss; headache; hives; insomnia; itching; lack of menstruation; menstrual flow changes; spotting; nausea; rash; skin discoloration; sleepiness; weight gain or loss; yellowed eyes and skin.

No known less common or rare Provera side effects.


Inform your doctor before combining Provera with Aminoglutethimide (Cytadren).

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

Should not take during first 4 months of pregnancy; may cause birth defects. If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Provera is no longer used to prevent miscarriage. Do not use Provera as a pregnancy test. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children.

  • Do not take if sensitive to or allergic to Provera.
  • Do not take if you have: cancer of the breast or genital organs, liver disease or a liver condition, a dead fetus in the uterus, undiagnosed bleeding from the vagina, history of or current blood clots.
  • Before you start taking Provera, doctor will perform a complete physical exam, including your breasts and pelvic organs (Pap test).
  • May cause some fluid retention; inform your doctor of any condition you have that is aggravated by fluid retention, such as epilepsy, migraine, asthma, or heart or kidney problems.
  • May mask onset of menopause — regular menstrual bleeding may continue.
  • If you have a history of depression, Provera may cause depression. Doctor will stop Provera if you become depressed.
  • If you are diabetic, doctor should closely monitor your reaction to Provera.
  • May increase risk of blood clots. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience: pain with swelling, warmth, and redness in leg vein; coughing or shortness of breath; vision problems (loss of some or all of vision or seeing double); migraine; or weakness or numbness in an arm or leg.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Provera side effects, please contact your healthcare provider