What is Depocon?
Depocon is a progestin (a form of progesterone), a female hormone that helps regulate ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and menstrual periods.
Depocon is used to treat conditions such as absent or irregular menstrual periods, or abnormal uterine bleeding. Depocon is also used to decrease the risk of endometrial hyperplasia (a condition that may lead to uterine cancer) while taking estrogens.
Depocon is also used to prevent overgrowth in the lining of the uterus in postmenopausal women who are receiving estrogen hormone replacement therapy.
Depocon may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
- When you receive this medication depends on why you’re receiving it.
- Treatment of kidney or endometrial cancer: Your doctor will determine how often you receive this medication. You may need it more often at the start of treatment.
- Birth control: You’ll receive this medication once every 3 months.
- Relief of endometriosis pain: You’ll receive this medication once every 3 months.
- Each Depocon injection should take about 1 minute.
- Depocon injection may make you sleepy. You may need a friend or loved one to help you get home after your injection.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. Also, remember to keep any routine appointments for breast screening and cervical smear tests.
- These tablets are not for preventing pregnancy. If you need contraception you should discuss this with your doctor.
- If you have diabetes you may need to check your blood glucose more frequently, as the tablets can affect the levels of sugar in your blood. Your doctor will advise you about this.
- It is best to avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol while taking Depocon. If you are a smoker and you would like advice on how to quit, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
Depocon acetate (MPA) is a 17-acetoxyprogesterone compound. Unlike most other synthetic progestins, MPA is structurally most closely related to progesterone, instead of testosterone, and possesses less androgenic activity. MPA is rapidly metabolized in humans to progesterone. The 3-month injectable dosage is 150 mg. The drug is delivered by intramuscular injection into the deltoid or gluteus muscle and is released slowly into the circulation.
MPA is an extremely effective contraceptive with a 1-year pregnancy rate of 0.1% and a 2-year accumulative pregnancy rate of 0.4%. Its primary mechanism of contraceptive action is ovulation inhibition, but it works by increasing the cervical mucus viscosity and creating progestational changes in the endometrium as well.
COMMON BRAND(S): Provera
GENERIC NAME(S): Depocon
OTHER NAME(S): Depocon Tablet
Depocon is sometimes used with another medication (a type of estrogen) as combination hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women after menopause. Combination HRT can rarely cause very serious side effects such as heart disease (for example, heart attacks), stroke, serious blood clots (possibly in the lungs and legs), dementia, and breast cancer. Some of these risks appear to depend on the length of treatment and other factors. Therefore, combination HRT should be used for the shortest possible length of time at the lowest effective dose so you can obtain the benefits and minimize the chance of serious side effects from long-term treatment. Combination HRT should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment and your personal health history with your doctor. If you take combination HRT, check with your doctor regularly (for example, every 3-6 months) to see if you still need to take it.
If you use this medication for an extended period, you should have a complete physical exam at regular intervals (for example, once a year) or as directed by your doctor. See Notes section.
Depocon is a type of female hormone (progestin). This medication is similar to the progesterone that your body naturally makes and is given to replace the hormone when your body is not making enough of it. This medication has several uses. In women who are not pregnant and not going through menopause, this medication is used to treat abnormal bleeding from the uterus and to restore normal menstrual periods in women who have stopped having them for several months (amenorrhea).
Depocon is also used as part of combination hormone replacement therapy with estrogens to reduce menopause symptoms (e.g., hot flashes). Depocon is added to estrogen replacement therapy to reduce the risk of cancer of the uterus.
This medication must not be used to test for pregnancy.
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Depocon is usually given for only a few days in a row each month. You may need to start taking the medication on a certain day of your menstrual cycle, depending on why you are taking Depocon. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Have regular physical exams and self-examine your breasts for lumps on a monthly basis while using Depocon.
This medicine can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are taking Depocon.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Latest Update: 11/9/2018, Version: 7.03
Can Depocon tablets cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with Depocon tablets. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet that has been given to you. The unwanted effects may improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
Why it’s used
Depocon injection use varies depending on the form:
- Depo-Provera is used to treat kidney cancer or cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus)
- Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection (CI) is used as birth control
- Depo-subQ Provera 104 is used as birth control or as treatment for endometriosis pain
How to store Depocon
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Hormonal transfer to the infant via mother’s milk
Gestagens (norethisterone, levonorgestrel, Depocon ) as an ingredient of a mini- or combination pill or as a “3-month shot,” have little or no effect on the milk supply, and only a very limited effect on its composition. In fact, many researchers found a longer period of breastfeeding in mothers with depot-Depocon as compared to those without hormonal contraception (survey in Bennett 1996 ).
With a daily intake of 50 μg, ethinylestradiol cannot be detected in the mother’s milk. Only after an oral administration of 500 μg can an infant’s dose can be calculated at 0.026 μg/kg daily. This is about 0.2% of the maternal dosage per kg bodyweight.
Vaginal administration of 50 or 100 mg of estradiol also leads to negligible amounts in the mother’s milk – less than 0.1% of the maternal weight-related dosage (survey by Bennett 1996 ).
The other estrogens, chlorotrianisen, epimestrol, estriol, fosfestrole, mestranol, and polyestradiol, have not been studied during lactation. For most of them, there is no indication for use during breastfeeding. The gestagen intake of the infant lies between 1 and 2% of the weight-related maternal dosage in a contraceptive preparation. This has been shown for “pills” with desogestrel, megestrol, norethisterone acetate, norethynodrel and norgestrel (survey by Bennett 1996, Shaaban 1991 ).
With 3 mg/day drospirenon in combination with ethinylestradiol, there was, on average, 3.7 ng/mL in the milk in six breastfeeding women. A fully breastfed infant would therefore receive 0.6 μg/kg per day, i.e. 1% of the weight-adjusted maternal dosage. No symptoms have been observed in any of the children ( Blode 2001 ).
With lynestrenol, a relative dosage of less than 1% has been found. The transferred portion for the infant directly after injection of 150 mg depot-Depocon acetate as a “3-month shot” was 7.5 μg/kg daily (survey by Bennett 1996 ).
Elcometrin, with an effectiveness of 6 months, is administered in a subdermal capsule. A maximum of 674 pmol of the active ingredient has been found in maternal serum. In the milk this was up to 640 pmol, and in the serum of individual children up to 55 pmol, while in others the serum concentration was beneath the detection limit of 13 pmol. The samples were taken 75 days following implantation. Up to the end of the first year of life, the development of the 66 participating children did not differ from those in a control group ( Coutinho 1999 ).
Centchroman, a new nonsteroid oral contraceptive that is initially taken twice a week and later only once a week, has been studied in 13 women. With doses of 30 mg, a maximum of 122 μg/L was found in the milk. On average, however, the values were more likely to be about 50 μg/L or less. Mathematically speaking, a fully breastfed baby would receive up to 11% of a maternal weight-related dosage. The M/P ratio is between 1 and 2 ( Gupta 1995 ).
There is no specific information on milk transfer with chlormadinon, dydrogestone, gestonorone, gestodene, hydroxyprogesterone, levonorgestrel, medrogestone, and norgestimate.
When used in oral contraceptive preparations, in gestagen-containing intrauterine pessaries, and in the “morning-after pill”, these substances can probably be evaluated similarly to the above-mentioned contraceptives. Higher-dosed gestagen preparations used for other indications have not been studied with respect to their kinetics, but there are unlikely to be many indications for their use during breastfeeding.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Depocon is used to treat abnormal menstruation (periods) or irregular vaginal bleeding. Depocon is also used to bring on a normal menstrual cycle in women who menstruated normally in the past but have not menstruated for at least 6 months and who are not pregnant or undergoing menopause (change of life). Depocon is also used to prevent overgrowth of the lining of the uterus (womb) and may decrease the risk of cancer of the uterus in patients who are taking estrogen. Depocon is in a class of medications called progestins. It works by stopping the growth of the lining of the uterus and by causing the uterus to produce certain hormones.
Progesterone (proe jes' ter one) is the naturally occurring progestin which is secreted by the ovary and has a multitude of actions on many organs, but predominantly on the reproductive tract, mammary glands and central nervous system. Large amounts of progesterone are produced in women by the corpus luteum during the second half of the menstrual cycle, which inhibits the effects of estrogen on endometrial proliferation and results in a secretory status of the endometrium in preparation for implantation of a fertilized egg. If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum regresses and levels of progesterone fall, triggering menstruation and resetting of the ovarian cycle. Progesterone also affects mammary glands and is required for their development and maintenance and, in the central nervous system, increases body temperature and ventilator responses. Progesterone also has androgenic and antiestrogenic effects and causes an increase in basal insulin levels, enhances fat deposition and decreases bone turnover. Modifications of the progesterone molecule can produce compounds with better absorption and pharmacokinetics and more focused and specific activities.
Progestins are compounds with biological activities similar to progesterone. Progestins developed for clinical use include desogestrel, dydrogesterone, levonorgestrel, Depocon, megestrol, 19-nortestosterone, norethindrone, norgestrel and norgestimate, among others. Many of these progestins are used in combination with estrogens in oral contraceptives. In addition, some are used alone as contraceptive agents and to treat secondary amenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, endometriosis, infertility and premature labor. Progestins have also been used to treat progesterone sensitive cancers (endometrial, renal, breast), and as therapy of anorexia and cachexia due to cancer chemotherapy or the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Progestins used without estrogens include (with common brand names and year of approval in the United States): Depocon (Provera and others: 1959), megestrol (Megase: 1971) and norethindrone (Camila, Errin, Micronor, Aygestin: 1973). Common side effects of progestin therapies include nausea, headaches, anxiety, weight gain, edema and breast tenderness and engorgement.
How should this medicine be used?
Depocon comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day on certain days of a regular monthly cycle. To help you remember to take Depocon, take it at around the same time every day on the days you are scheduled to take it. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Depocon exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Depocon may control your condition but will not cure it. Continue to take Depocon according to your monthly schedule even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Depocon without talking to your doctor.
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The following side effects have been reported with the use of Depocon alone:
- Breast tenderness
- Breast milk secretion
- Breakthrough bleeding
- Spotting (minor vaginal bleeding)
- Irregular periods
- Amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods)
- Vaginal secretions
- Insomnia, sleepiness, fatigue
- Premenstrual syndrome-like symptoms
- Thrombophlebitis (inflamed veins)
- Blood clot
- Itching, hives, skin rash
- Hair loss, hair growth
- Abdominal discomfort
- Increase in weight
- Changes in vision and sensitivity to contact lenses
The following side effects have been reported with the use of Depocon with an estrogen.
Side effects are grouped by how serious they are and how often they happen when you are treated:
Serious but less common side effects of estrogen include:
- Breast cancer
- Cancer of the uterus
- Heart attack
- Blood clots
- Gallbladder disease
- Ovarian cancer
- High blood pressure
- Liver problems
- High blood sugar
- Enlargement of benign tumors of the uterus ("fibroids")
Some of the warning signs of these serious side effects include:
- Breast lumps
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Dizziness and faintness
- Changes in speech
- Severe headaches
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pains in your legs
- Changes in vision
- Yellowing of the skin, eyes or nail beds
Call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of these warning signs, or any other unusual symptom that concerns you.
Less serious but common side effects include:
- Breast pain
- Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Stomach/abdominal cramps, bloating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hair loss
- Fluid retention
- Vaginal yeast infection
These are not all the possible side effects of Depocon with or without estrogen. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- Decreased bone mineral density
- trouble walking or speaking
- sudden inability to move one side of your body
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Depocon injectable suspension can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, or vitamins you’re taking.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
This drug comes with several warnings.
COMMON BRAND(S): Depo-Provera
GENERIC NAME(S): Depocon
This medication may cause serious bone loss which may not return to normal after you stop using it. The risk of bone loss increases with longer use of this medication. This medication should not be used for longer than 2 years unless other birth control methods will not work for you. An important time when your bones continue to build up is during your teenage and young adult years. Use of this medication may increase the risk of weak/brittle bones (osteoporosis), which can lead to broken bones when you are older. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication and other birth control choices.
Do not use this medication if you smoke cigarettes/use tobacco and are over 35 years old. Smoking raises your risk of stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and high blood pressure from hormonal birth control (such as the pill, patch, ring). The risk of these serious problems increases with age and with the number of cigarettes you smoke. Do not smoke or use tobacco.
This medication is used to prevent pregnancy. Depocon is like a natural hormone made by the body. It works mainly by preventing the growth and release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. It also makes vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) and changes the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg.
Depocon is also used to treat endometriosis. It works by lowering the amount of certain hormones in the body and decreasing the growth of abnormal tissues that cause endometriosis. This helps reduce pain and other symptoms.
Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia).
Cardiovascular risks (oral)
- Estrogens with progestins should not be used to prevent cardiovascular disease
- Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen Plus Progestin substudy reported increased risks of myocardial infarction, stroke, invasive breast cancer, pulmonary embolism, and DVT in postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years undergoing 5.6 years of treatment with oral conjugated estrogens (CE) 0.625 mg/day plus Depocon acetate (MPA) 2.5 mg/day versus placebo