Progestins: Uses & Sides Effects

Progesterone is a female hormone important for the regulation of ovulation and menstruation. Progesterone is used to cause menstrual periods in women who have not yet reached menopause but are not having periods due to a lack of progesterone in the body. It is also used to prevent overgrowth in the lining of the uterus in postmenopausal women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement therapy.

Progesterone should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medicine may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions.

How should I use progesterone?

Use progesterone exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take the capsule with a full glass of water. It is best to take the medicine at night because this medicine can make you dizzy or drowsy.

Apply progesterone cream to the skin as directed by your doctor.

Progesterone is sometimes used for only a short time, such as 10 to 12 days during each menstrual cycle. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.

Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using progesterone.

If you need surgery or medical tests or if you will be on bed rest, you may need to stop using this medicine for a short time. Any doctor or surgeon who treats you should know that you are using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Precautions

You should not use progesterone if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • abnormal vaginal bleeding that a doctor has not checked;
  • a history of breast cancer;
  • liver disease;
  • a peanut allergy;
  • if you are pregnant;
  • if you have had a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot within the past year;
  • if you have recently had an incomplete miscarriage or “missed” abortion.

Using progesterone can increase your risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, circulation problems;
  • migraines;
  • asthma;
  • kidney disease;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • a history of depression;
  • risk factors for coronary artery disease (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus, high cholesterol, family history of coronary artery disease, smoking, being overweight).

Do not use progesterone if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Progesterone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to progesterone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding;
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • a breast lump;
  • sudden vision problems, severe headache or pain behind your eyes;
  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes);
  • severe dizziness or drowsiness, spinning sensation, confusion, shortness of breath;
  • heart attack symptoms – chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;
  • liver problems – nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • signs of a stroke – sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), sudden severe headache, slurred speech, problems with speech or balance;
  • signs of a blood clot in the lung – chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, coughing up blood;
  • signs of a blood clot in your leg – pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in one or both legs.

Common progesterone side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • breast pain;
  • mood changes;
  • headache;
  • constipation, diarrhea, heartburn;
  • bloating, swelling in your hands or feet;
  • joint pain;
  • hot flashes;
  • vaginal discharge.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Keyword: progestins.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.