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Generic name: Progesterone gel
Why is Progesterone gel prescribed?
Progesterone gel is a vaginal gel used to treat progesterone deficiency in women undergoing infertility treatment. It is also prescribed to restore menstruation in women whose menstrual periods have stopped.
Most important fact about Progesterone gel
If you are undergoing infertility treatment, it is very important that you strictly adhere to the medication schedule your doctor has planned for you. Administering the dose at the wrong time or forgetting to take a dose can jeopardize your chances of getting pregnant and maintaining a pregnancy.
How should you take Progesterone gel?
1. Remove the applicator from the sealed wrapper. Do not remove the twist-off tab yet.
2. Hold the applicator by the thick end. Shake several times like a thermometer to be sure the contents are at the thin end.
3. Hold the applicator by the flat section of the thick end. Twist off and throw away the tab at the other end. Do not squeeze the thick end while twisting the tab. This could force some gel to be released before it is inserted.
4. Gently insert the thin end of the applicator into the vagina. You can do this while in a sitting position or when lying on your back with your knees bent.
5. Squeeze the thick end of the applicator to deposit the gel. Remove the applicator and throw it away. Do not be concerned if a small amount of gel is left in the applicator; you will still be receiving the appropriate dose.
For altitudes above 2,500 feet: Follow step 1 above, then use a lancet to puncture a hole in the flat section of the thick end; this will relieve the difference in air pressure between the inside and outside of the applicator caused by high altitudes. Follow steps 2 through 4 above. For step 5, place your thumb or finger over the hole before squeezing the applicator to dispense the gel.
Note that if your doctor prescribes the 8% gel, you cannot substitute 2 tubes of the 4% gel, as the proper amount of drug will not be absorbed.
--If you miss a dose...
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and take the next one as scheduled.
Store at room temperature.
What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Progesterone gel.
Why should Progesterone gel not be prescribed?
You cannot use Progesterone gel if you are allergic to progesterone or if you have unusual vaginal bleeding that has not been evaluated by a doctor.
You must also avoid the drug if you have liver disease, known or suspected cancer of the breast or genitals, or a history of blood clots, especially in the legs, lungs, or eyes.
If you"ve had a miscarriage and your doctor suspects some tissue is still in the uterus (sometimes called a "missed miscarriage"), you cannot use Progesterone gel.
Special warnings about Progesterone gel
Before starting progesterone therapy, your doctor will need to do a complete gynecological exam, including a Pap smear, to rule out cancer. Be sure to tell the doctor about any unusual vaginal bleeding before using Progesterone gel.
Progesterone therapy can cause blood clots in susceptible individuals. Call your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following: pain in the calves or chest, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, severe headache, severe vomiting, dizziness, faintness, changes in vision or speech, and weakness or numbness in an arm or leg.
Be sure to tell the doctor if you develop fluid retention while using Progesterone gel, especially if you also have a condition that could be aggravated by excess fluid, such as epilepsy, migraine, asthma, and heart or kidney dysfunction.
Use Progesterone gel with caution if you have a history of depression, since the drug can aggravate this condition.
A small percentage of patients taking a combination of progesterone and estrogen develop blood sugar problems. If you have diabetes, the doctor will monitor your blood sugar levels carefully during treatment with Progesterone gel.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Progesterone gel
There are no known drug interactions with Progesterone gel. However, other vaginal medications should not be taken at the same time. Be sure to tell the doctor if you take any other vaginal medications and ask about the best time to administer each one.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Progesterone gel is used in women who are undergoing infertility treatment. Rare cases of birth defects have been reported in women who used Progesterone gel during early pregnancy, although a definite cause/effect relationship has not been established.
Because progesterone is excreted in breast milk, be sure to tell the doctor if you"re nursing.
To Treat Infertility
The usual dose is one application of Progesterone gel 8% gel once or twice a day. One application of the 8% gel delivers 90 milligrams of progesterone.
To Restore Menstrual Periods
The usual dose is one application of Progesterone gel 4% gel every other day as directed by your doctor, for a total of 6 doses. One application of the 4% gel delivers 45 milligrams of progesterone. If needed, the doctor may increase your dose by switching you to the 8% gel.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.
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