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NZ Formulary

Medroxyprogesterone depot (injection)

me-drox-ee-pro-jes-te-rone dee-poe

What does it do?

Medroxyprogesterone depot is used to prevent pregnancy. It may also be used to treat endometriosis and some cancers.

How is it given?

Medroxyprogesterone depot is given as an injection into a muscle by your health professional.
To prevent pregnancy, medroxyprogesterone depot is usually given every 12 weeks.
You can start at any time in your cycle. If you start within 5 days of the first day of your period, you are protected from pregnancy straight away. If you start more than 5 days after the first day of your period, you will need to use condoms (or don’t have sex) for the next 7 days.

What if you forget a dose?

If you miss an appointment for your injection, contact your health professional as soon as possible.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Changes in periods

Irregular bleeding is common in the first 3-6 months. This is not harmful and usually improves with time. After this, some women will not have any periods at all.

Mood changes, headache


Weight gain

Sore breasts

Stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have breast cancer.
  • Medroxyprogesterone depot may weaken your bones, especially if you are using it for longer than two years. This usually improves after you stop using it.
  • Medroxyprogesterone depot does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you want to get pregnant after stopping medroxyprogesterone depot, you may find that it can take up to a year.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. September 2019

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed