Progesterone

Progesterone is most often used in hormone replacement therapy in women who are undergoing menopause, but can be used for a wide variety of hormonal changes in men and women.

Progesterone is a hormone treatment that is used to treat menopause, in hormone replacement therapy, to help menstruation begin, decrease the risk of uterine cancer, and in the treatment of infertility. Because there are such a wide variety of uses for this drug, use, dosing size and instructions may be given. Be sure to go over all instructions with your doctor so you can be sure that you will use your prescription carefully.

Indications and Usage

Progesterone is sold under the brand names Camila, Aygestin, Errin, Crinone, Jolivette, First-Progesterone VGS, Megace ES, Megace, Ovrette, Next Choice, Prochieve, Plan B and Prometrium. In most cases this drug is given in the evening or right before bed in a rotating schedule. You will typically alternate days for 10-12 days or for 16-18 days depending on your treatment. You should try to take your prescription around the same time every day to help ensure that you remember to take your prescription as directed.

Progesterone Dosage

Because Progesterone is used to treat such a wide variety of conditions, there are many different dosing instructions that you may need to follow. Talk with your doctor to make sure you understand the instructions for your prescription. Those taking Progesterone with medroxyProgesterone should take 5-10 mg for five to ten days. Those using this drug to prepare the body for a menstrual period will be taking 10 mg for 5-10 days. Those treating the thickening of the uterus lining will take 5-10 mg or 2.5-5 based on your doctor's recommendations.

Those taking a combination with megestrol will be given 800 mg for one month, which will then be decreased to 400-800 mg per day for three months. Those treating cancer will be given 160 mg for at least two months. Those treating uterine cancer will be given 40 to 320 mg for two months. Teenagers treating anorexia or cachexia will be given 400-800 mg per day.

Those taking Progesterone with norethindrone will be given 200 mg for 12 days. Those treating unusual periods will be given 400 mg at night for 10 days. Those treating unusual menstrual periods will take 45 mg every other day for six doses. Patients using this drug as part of their treatment for infertility treatments will be given 90 mg one or two times a day.

While Progesterone is occasionally used to aid in pregnancy that comes about via a donor egg or infertility treatment, you should not necessarily use Progesterone. If you become pregnant while on Progesterone therapy, talk to your doctor to determine whether or not it is safe to keep using this medication as high doses of this drug can cause changes in the sex organs of male fetuses. You should also discuss the potential risk of using Progesterone while breastfeeding before you continue with your treatment.

Table 1: Progesterone Dosage

Indications

Usual Dosage

Special Dosage

medroxyProgesterone

5-10 mg per day for five to ten days

N/A

Preparing for a menstrual period

10 mg for five to ten days

N/A

Preventing the thickening of the uterus lining

25 mg for one day, 5-10 mg for 10-14 days

Injection- 400-1000 mg for 10-14 days

Your doctor may ask you to take 2.5-5 mg per day without stopping in some cases

With megestrol

Oral dosage- 800 mg for one month, followed by 400-800 mg for three months.

Oral dosage for cancer- 160 mg for 2 months

Uterine cancer victims will take 40-320 mg for 2 months or more as determined by your doctor.

Teenagers treating anorexia or cachexia will be given 400-800 mg per day

With norethindrone

200 mg for 12 days

Unusual periods- 400 mg at night for 10 days

Unusual menstrual periods- 45 mg every other day for six doses

Those undergoing infertility procedures will be given 90 mg one or two times a day

Progesterone Side Effects

The most common side effect of Progesterone is dizziness which occurs in up to 24 percent of female patients. This side effect is not as common in men. Other common side effects of Progesterone include abdominal pain or cramping in 20 percent of users, headaches in 16 percent of users, breast pain in up to 16 percent of users, muscle or bone aches in 12 percent, and viral infections in up to 12 percent of users. These side effects are not usually severe, but they should be reported to your doctor if they get worse or interfere with your ability to function normally.

Some side effects are more common when Progesterone is combined with estrogen as part of a hormone replacement therapy regimen. These include headaches which occur in up to 31 percent of users, breast tenderness in 27 percent, depression in 29 percent, dizziness in 15 percent, abdominal bloating in 12 percent and vaginal discharge in 10 percent of users. Let your doctor know if any of these side effects become severe or do not get better over time.

Less common side effects of Progesterone, occurring in 1-9 percent of users, include nausea, vomiting, worry, diarrhea, fatigue, back pain, irritability and coughing. These side effects are not serious, but you may want to report them to your doctor to confirm that you do not require an adjustment in your prescription dosing.

In very rare cases patients have reported constipation, chest pain, earache, dry mouth, indigestion, herpes, leg cramps, drowsiness, insomnia, acne, urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness, yeast infections and sinus infections while using Progesterone. These side effects are not usually severe but you should report them to your doctor to ensure that they are not part of a more serious reaction to your medication.

If you begin to suffer from depression, severe dizziness, fainting, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, fluid retention, or vision changes you may be developing a severe reaction to Progesterone. Contact your doctor immediately to determine if it is safe to continue using Progesterone and to get assistance treating the side affects you have developed.

Table 2: Progesterone Side Effects

Types of Side Effects

Symptoms

Common Side Effects

Dizziness, abdominal pain and cramping, headaches, breast pain, muscle or bone aches, and viral infections.

Common Side Effects with Estrogen

Headaches, breast tenderness, depression, dizziness, abdominal bloating, and vaginal discharge.

Uncommon Side Effects

Nausea and vomiting, worry, diarrhea, fatigue, back pain, irritability, and coughing.

Rare Side Effects

Constipation, chest pain, earache, dry mouth, indigestion, herpes, leg cramps, drowsiness, insomnia, acne, urinary tract infections, vaginal dryness, yeast infections and sinus infections.

Serious Side Effects

Depression, severe dizziness, fainting, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, fluid retention, and vision changes.

Interactions

You should not take Progesterone alongside boceprevir or dofetilide. Let your doctor know if you are using either of these medications so that you can avoid a potentially serious reaction. Other medications known to negatively interact with Progesterone include felbamate, isotretinoin, theophylline, tizanidine, and tranexamic acid. Let your doctor know about these or any other medications that you might be taking to help avoid a potential negative reaction.

Progesterone may cause indigestion or other negative reactions when taken with different types of food. These reactions will differ amongst patients. If you find a food that causes irritation, avoid consuming it within two hours of taking Progesterone. Tobacco and alcohol may cause similar reactions when combined with Progesterone.

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