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Cheaper generic of contraceptive Depo-Provera reintroduced in the US

A generic version of the contraceptive injection Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone), likely to be cheaper than its branded counterpart, will be reintroduced into local pharmacies across the United States, Teva Pharmaceuticals has announced. 

Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection (medroxyprogesterone acetate injectable suspension, USP) 150mg/ml is a progestin indicated for the prevention of pregnancy. The medication is usually administered in the form of an intramuscular injection once a week, which may be changed to once per month. 

Among the most common side effects of Depo-Provera are changes to menstrual periods, swelling and weight gain, mild stomach pain, headaches and dizziness, and a feeling of weakness or tiredness. It is not considered a suitable long-term birth control measure and is not usually used for more than two years.

The drug is contraindicated in patients with an allergy to medroxyprogesterone, unusual vaginal bleeding, liver disease, a history of breast cancer, or a history of heart attacks, strokes or blood clots. It may also cause a loss of bone mineral density in women of all ages, something physicians will need to consider before prescribing.

Commenting on the latest product brought to market by Teva, the company's executive vice president and president of global generics R&D Hafrun Fridriksdottir, MD, said: "This reintroduction brings an additional product to a market that was previously lacking in options."

Depo-Provera is a progesterone only contraceptive, a form of hormonal birth control administered by injection. These medications work by preventing ovulation and causing changes in the cervical mucus and uterine lining. Other branded progesterone only contraceptives include Ortho Micronor and Lyza. A variety of different birth control medicines are available in pharmacies, ranging from hormonal birth control pills and implants to carrier birth control, which includes condoms, cervical caps, and diaphragms. 

Around 99 percent of sexually active women between 15-44 years of age have used at least one form of contraceptive, according to National Health Statistics Report 2015 published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study showed that the most popular forms of contraception were the pill and female sterilization. The next most used birth control method was the condom.