FDA Approves Pharmacia and UpJohn's Depo-Provera

Depo-Provera is a form of progesterone, a female hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). Depo-Provera also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

Depo-Provera is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy. It is also used to reduce pain cause by endometriosis.

Depo-Provera is also used to ease pain and other symptoms in women with metastatic uterine or kidney cancer. This medication is not a cure for these conditions.

This medication is used to prevent pregnancy. Medroxyprogesterone is like a natural hormone made by the body called progesterone. It works by preventing the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation), and changing the womb to make it more difficult for an egg to meet sperm (fertilization) or for the fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the womb (implantation).


Provera is a hormonal therapy used in the treatment of some cancers. It is a drug that is similar to the female hormone progesterone. Hormones are substances that are produced naturally in the body. They act as chemical messengers and help to control the activity of cells and organs.

How it works

The way Provera works is not yet fully understood, but it is thought that it interferes with the action of the female hormone oestrogen. Men also produce small amounts of this hormone.

Many cancers rely on sex hormones, such as oestrogen, to grow. Cancer cells have proteins called receptors on their surface and the sex hormones can attach to the receptors.

When the oestrogen comes into contact with the receptors, it attaches to them and allows the cancer cells to divide so that the tumour grows.