Depo-Provera is a hormonal contraceptive administered by intramuscular injection once every eleven to thirteen weeks. Depo-Provera is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc. Depo-Provera is commonly prescribed as a birth control method. However, Depo-Provera is also used in treating certain types of cancer, including cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus).
What are the dangers associated with the use of Depo-Provera? A recent study shows that using Depo-Provera long-term may result in significant loss of bone mass density (BMD), resulting in osteoporosis. The loss of bone mass density increases the longer Depo-Provera is used. On November 17, 2004, the FDA issued a 'black box' warning regarding the long-term use of Depo-Provera and its strong causal relationship to significant loss of bone mass density, including development of osteoporosis and osteopenia. The warning reads: "Use of Depo-Provera may cause you to lose calcium stored in your bones. The longer you use Depo-Provera the more calcium you are likely to lose. The calcium may not return completely once you stop using Depo-Provera." Due to the concerns over bone loss, both the FDA and Pfizer recommend that Depo-Provera usage be limited to two years, unless there is no other viable method of contraception. All individuals who have used Depo-Provera as a method of birth control may consider requesting a bone scan from your doctor to determine if you are suffering from osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis, or osteoporosis. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with osteopenia and/or osteoporosis as the result of using Depo-Provera, you may be entitled to compensation.
Do not change medications without first consulting your doctor.
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