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What Is Medroxyprogesterone Subcutaneous Injection Used For?

Women with endometriosis or who want to prevent pregnancy may benefit from medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection. There may also be instances where your healthcare provider may prescribe this drug for an unapproved, or "off-label," use. Some of these off-label uses for medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection include relieving symptoms of menopause and managing certain types of cancer pain.

An Overview of Uses for Medroxyprogesterone Subcutaneous Injection

Medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection (depo-subQ Provera 104®) is a prescription medication approved to prevent pregnancy and to manage pain caused by endometriosis. This product contains medroxyprogesterone, a progestin hormone. It is given as a subcutaneous (below the skin) injection every three months.

Medroxyprogesterone Subcutaneous Injection Use to Prevent Pregnancy

Medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection is an injectable form of hormonal birth control. It offers an alternative to birth control pills (oral contraceptives).
Medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection is similar to Depo-Provera® (medroxyprogesterone intramuscular injection), which is sometimes called "the birth control shot." Both medicines are long-acting injectable forms of birth control, and both contain the hormone medroxyprogesterone.
However, medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection is injected in the layer of tissue just below the skin (a subcutaneous, or subQ, injection), while Depo-Provera is injected into the muscle (an intramuscular, or IM, injection). In addition, Depo-Provera contains higher doses of medroxyprogesterone.
Medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection offers some advantages over oral birth control pills. Some of these advantages include the following:
  • Medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection is a long-acting drug. Each shot helps to prevent pregnancy for three months.
  • There are no daily pills to remember to take.
  • It is discrete -- the shots are given in the privacy of your healthcare provider's office.
In addition, medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection does not contain estrogen hormones. This makes it a good choice for women who should not use estrogen, including women who have just given birth or who are breastfeeding (see Breastfeeding and Birth Control for more information about birth control options for breastfeeding women).
Medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection also has some disadvantages to consider. Possible disadvantages include the following:


  • Bothersome side effects may persist until the medicine is eliminated from the body, which can take several months.


  • It is not recommended for long-term use (more than two years).


  • It requires regular visits to your healthcare provider to receive the shot.


  • If you want to become pregnant, you will have to wait until your last shot has worn off. In many cases, it can take a year or longer after the last shot to become pregnant.
In addition, it is important to know that medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In many situations, it is advisable to use condoms in addition to medroxyprogesterone subcutaneous injection to prevent the transmission of STDs.
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Medroxyprogesterone Subcutaneous Injection Information

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