Progesterone (By mouth)
Helps prevent changes in the uterus in women who are taking estrogen after menopause. Also treats amenorrhea (menstrual periods stop) in women who are still menstruating.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to progesterone or peanuts. You should not use this medicine if you have liver disease or certain types of cancer (such as breast cancer). You should not use this medicine if you have a history of blood clotting problems, or if you have had a heart attack or stroke in the past 12 months. Do not use this medicine if you may be pregnant, if you have had an incomplete miscarriage, or if you have unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by your doctor.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- For women who use this medicine after menopause, it will be given together with an estrogen medicine. Carefully follow the schedule your doctor gives you for both medicines.
- If you have trouble swallowing this medicine, take it with a glass of water while standing up. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if this does not help.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, endometriosis (problem with the lining of the uterus), epilepsy (seizures), migraine headaches, lupus, or thyroid problems. Your doctor needs to know about any problems with your heart or blood, such as heart disease, blood clotting problems, high blood pressure, or high levels of cholesterol. Tell your doctor if you have suffered from depression.
- There is a very slight chance that this medicine could increase the risk of breast cancer and endometrial cancer in some women. Talk to your doctor about this risk. Make sure your doctor knows if anyone in your family has had breast cancer or endometrial cancer.
- This medicine should not be used to treat or prevent heart disease or stroke. In fact, using this medicine may increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or dementia. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
- This medicine can cause serious side effects such as a heart attack or stroke. You are much more likely to have these side effects if you smoke cigarettes or are overweight, or if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a high blood cholesterol. Talk with your doctor if you think you might be at risk.
- You will need to talk to your doctor if you have any changes in your vision or if you get migraine headaches while you are using this medicine.
- This medicine could make your body retain water. Tell your doctor if you have rapid weight gain; or swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Most women have changes in their menstrual periods while using this medicine. You might have irregular bleeding, spotting, or heavier or lighter periods. Many women stop having periods. Call your doctor if you have very heavy or nonstop bleeding.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests. Also, you may need to stop using this medicine for a few weeks before and after having surgery, or if you are inactive for a long period of time.
- It is important that you have a pelvic exam, breast exam, and breast x-ray every year unless otherwise directed by your doctor. These exams are very important if you have a family history of breast cancer.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Breast lumps.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
- Fainting, extreme dizziness, or confusion.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
- Pain in your lower leg (calf).
- Sudden or severe headache, vomiting, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Breast pain or tenderness.
- Cough that does not go away.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Stomach pain, bloating, or cramping.
- Unusual tiredness, depression, or other mood changes.
- Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013