Medroxyprogesterone (tablets)

Sounds like 'med-ROX-ee-pro-JES-ter-one'

Easy-to-read medicine information about medroxyprogesterone tablets – what it is, how to take medroxyprogesterone tablets safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Progestogen hormone
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as progestogens
  • Provera®

What is medroxyprogesterone?

  • Medroxyprogesterone is one of a group of medicines called progestogens. Progestogen is very similar to the hormone progesterone that your body naturally makes.
  • It has a number of different uses such as:
    • heavy menstrual periods
    • endometriosis
    • no periods or a lack of menstrual periods not due to pregnancy (amenorrhoea)
    • as part of combination hormone replacement therapy with oestrogens to reduce menopause symptoms (e.g., hot flushes). Medroxyprogesterone is added to estrogen replacement therapy to reduce the risk of cancer of the uterus.
  • Medroxyprogesterone is available as tablets.
  • It is also available as a long-acting injection, called Depo-Provera which is used as a contraception. 


  • The dose of medroxyprogesterone will be different for different people. Your dose will depend on what you are being treated for. 
  • You may be asked to take the tablets every day, or only on certain days of your period.
  • Always take your medroxyprogesterone exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much medroxyprogesterone to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take medroxyprogesterone tablets

  • Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water.
  • Try to take medroxyprogesterone at the same time each day, as this will help you to remember to take them.
  • You can take medroxyprogesterone with or without food.
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day.
  • But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, medroxyprogesterone can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. 

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Headache
  • Mood changes
  • These are quite common when you first start taking medroxyprogesterone and usually go away with time
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome 
  • Changes in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Bloating 
  • Swollen feet and ankles (fluid retention)
  • Breast tenderness
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Allergic reaction including any skin rashes, itching, blisters, peeling skin, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or have problems breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116 


Medroxyprogesterone may interacts with a number of important medications and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

The following is further reading that gives you more information on medroxyprogesterone.

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet:

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist.