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Side Effects of Medroxyprogesterone

Both medroxyprogesterone tablets and contraception injections have some risk of side effects. Common side effects for the tablets can include:

  • Tender or liquid-producing breasts
  • Menstruation changes
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Acne
  • Growth of facial hair
  • Loss of hair on the scalp
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drowsiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain with injection / Weight gain or weight loss with pill

Uncommon but potentially serious side effects—which should warrant a call to you physician if you notice any of these symptoms—include:

  • Pain, swelling, warmth, redness or tenderness in only one leg
  • Slow or difficult speech
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Weakness or numbness of an arm or leg
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Sudden sharp or crushing chest pain
  • Fast or pounding heart beat
  • Sudden vision changes or a loss of vision
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Bulging eyes
  • Missed periods
  • Depression
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Fever, hives or skin rash
  • Itching
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or lower legs

In lab tests, some animals who were given medroxyprogesterone developed breast tumors, though it’s unclear whether this medication increases the chances of breast tumors in humans. Also, medroxyprogesterone also increases the risk of developing a blood clot that may move to the lungs or brain.

Common side effects of the contraception injections can include:

  • Menstrual period changes
  • Weight gain
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability or depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hot flashes
  • Breast pain, swelling or tenderness
  • Stomach cramps or bloating
  • Leg cramps
  • Back or joint pain
  • Acne
  • Loss of hair on the scalp
  • Vaginal swelling, redness, irritation, burning or itching
  • White vaginal discharge
  • Cold or flu symptoms
  • Pain, irritation, redness, lumps or scarring at the injection site

Less common but potentially serious side effects of the injection can include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden sharp or crushing chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Change or loss of vision
  • Double vision
  • Bulging eyes
  • Problems speaking
  • Numbness or weakness in an arm or leg
  • Seizure
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Abnormally heavy or long-lasting vaginal bleeding
  • Severe pain or tenderness just below the waist
  • Pain, swelling, warmth, redness or tenderness in only one leg
  • Rash or hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
  • Difficult, painful or frequent urination
  • Constant pain, pus, warmth, swelling or bleeding at the injection site

In addition, women who are younger than 35 and began to receive medroxyprogesterone injections in the last five years may have a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer, and may be at increased risk of a blood clot that moves to the lungs or brain. 

Locations for Medroxyprogesterone