Progesterone (Vaginal)

Introduction

Progesterone (proe-JES-ter-one)

Treats infertility by increasing the amount of progesterone in your body. Progesterone is a hormone that women need to become or stay pregnant. Also used for women who have stopped having menstrual cycles (periods) because they do not produce enough progesterone.

Brand Name(s)

Crinone, Endometrin, First-Progesterone VGS 100

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 if you have vaginal bleeding of unknown cause, liver disease, breast cancer, cancer of the uterus or genital organs, or a history of a stroke or blood clots. Do not use this medicine if you have had an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy or a miscarriage, as there may still be tissue left in the uterus.

How to Use This Medicine

Gel/Jelly, Suppository, Tablet

  • 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. This medicine is used only in the vagina.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • The vaginal gel comes in a prefilled, disposable applicator. The vaginal tablet also comes with a disposable applicator. You must place the tablet in the applicator before putting it in the vagina. Use each applicator only once, and then throw it away.
  • Pay special attention to the instructions for using the vaginal gel at an altitude above 2500 feet. High altitude can increase the air pressure inside the applicator tube. You will need to correct the air pressure problem by using a clean needle or pin to poke a small hole near the bottom of the tube. You will still receive the same dose of medicine.

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 the used medicine applicator(s), containers and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • 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.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®) or carbamazepine (Tegretol®).
  • Avoid using douches or other vaginal products unless your doctor tells you to. You should not use other vaginal medicines within 6 hours before or 6 hours after using the vaginal gel.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, migraine headaches, heart disease, kidney disease, or a history of depression.
  • This medicine may leak out of your vagina during the day. You may wear a sanitary pad to protect your clothing, but do not use a tampon.
  • 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.

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
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, or painful urination.
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
  • Lumps in your breast.
  • 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, dizziness, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, or stomach pain.
  • Depressed mood, mood swings, or nervousness.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Increased urination at night.
  • Joint or back pain.
  • Mild headache.
  • Sleepiness or tiredness.
  • Swollen or tender breasts.
  • Vaginal itching, irritation, or discomfort.

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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