What is Progesterone?
Progesterone also sold under the name Prometrium, Crinone and Susten is a female growth hormone important for controlling the ovulation and menstrual cycle. Medicinal progesterone is used to effect periods in women who have not yet reached the menopausal age but have stopped getting menstrual periods due to progesterone deficiency in their bodies. It is also effective to inhibit overgrowth in the uterine lining in post menopausal women who are getting estrogen by undergoing HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
Important Information about Progesterone
Progesterone should be strictly taken with prescription and after thorough checkup with your doctor. Special care must be taken if you are pregnant as progesterone can damage the fetus resulting in birth defects in your child. While taking progesterone supplement, use effective contraception and let your doctor know if your become pregnant during the course. Some variations of this hormonal supplement may contain peanut oil so be careful and check the labels if you are allergic to peanuts.
Progesterone intake can expose you to the risk of certain conditions like blood clots, stroke, heart attack, or breast cancer. Also don’t use it if you already have a history of these diseases along with abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease, or if you are carrying.
Progesterone is prescribed sometimes for only a short period ranging from 6 to 12 days at a time during each menstrual cycle. Strictly follow the directions and take proper dosage without missing any single dose. This is will ensure proper treatment for which it is used. Progesterone may also hinder in your senses and your ability to be alert resulting in decreased intellectual capability. So avoid any activity which requires high attention like driving.
Progesterone medications can cause unusual results in certain medical tests. So let the laboratory where you have your tests know beforehand if you are taking this medication.
Prior to using Progesterone
Some progesterone supplements contain peanut oil so be careful if you are allergic to peanuts. Read the labels and ingredients in detail. Always start any new medications after consulting a doctor or a physician and let him/her know about all of your medical history.
Some special medical testing and dosage may be required if you have these conditions or had a history of them. They are heart disease; circulatory problems; coronary artery disease risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity; migraines; asthma; kidney disease; seizures or epilepsy; depression; or diabetes.
Also don’t take progesterone without advice from your doctor if you are nursing a baby as it can pass into breast milk and be harmful to your child. Let your doctor know at any cost about your breast feeding.
How do I take Progesterone?
Take progesterone strictly as it was prescribed for you. Don’t overshoot the dosage or take less than what is advised. Also finish the course in the exact schedule. Sometimes only a small dosage of about 6-12 days may be prescribed during each menstrual cycle. Don’t take it after the prescribed schedule is over. For detailed instructions, read the label on the medication. Ask your doctor or the pharmacist if you have the smallest of doubts.
Progesterone can be taken in oral form, via vaginal gel, applied on skin via cream and injected directly into a blood stream with a vial. Take injections from a qualified healthcare personnel or yourself after you have learnt the trick.
Always keep progesterone medications in a cool and dry place away from heat and moisture
What if I miss a dose?
As far as possible, never miss a progesterone dose. But if you happen to miss you scheduled dose due to uncontrollable circumstances, take it as soon as possible. Skip it if the time for the next dose is near. Don’t overdose on medication as it may cause some serious conditions.
What happens if I take an overdose?
Immediately seek urgent medical help in case of overdose of progesterone as it may cause severe harmful effects in your body and you may want the toxins neutralized or thrown out of your body at the earliest.
Things to avoid during progesterone medication
Progesterone may hinder your thinking and intellectual capacity and hence your ability to be alert. Therefore try to avoid any activity which requires much attention like driving.
Side Effects of Progesterone
Some of the side effects of progesterone medications are pain/swelling at injection point; headache; unusual weight gain or loss; lots of body or facial hair; loss of hair on head; drowsiness; dizziness. If any of these remain for an extended period or their effects worsen, consult your doctor immediately. Many people using this medicine may not exhibit any side effects.
Some serious side effects of progesterone are unusual vaginal bleeding and discharge; no menstrual periods (amenorrhea); lumps in breasts; swelling in limbs; mood swings for the worse; dark urine; yellow eyes or skin; abdominal pain; nausea or vomiting; chest pain, jaw pain or pain in left arm; blood clots; slurred speech, difficulty in seeing/vision loss; rashes on legs; trouble in breathing; sudden and severe headache; fainting. Tell your doctor immediately about these conditions.
All the above side effects may not be the complete list of effects progesterone has on your body. You must contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately if you witness any other conditions.
Progesterone Dosing Information
Your doctor may prescribe the amount of progesterone depending on your condition and prevailing medical history. Also the dosage differs from patient to patient and there is no fixed or standard amount of dosage. Strictly stick to your prescribed amount of dosage.
Interaction with other Medications
There may be certain medications which may interfere with progesterone or vice versa. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking already including prescribed, OTC vitamin pills and herbal products. Don’t take a new medication without the advice of your doctor.
Some medications which are not compatible with progesterone are drugs which affect liver functioning to remove progesterone from the body such as azole antifungals including itraconazole, rifamycins including rifabutin, St. John's wort and certain anti-seizure medicines including carbamazepine/phenytoin.
Progesterone may cause some abnormality in medical tests and lead to faulty test results. Notify the lab staff all doctors about your progesterone medication.
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