By SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES, on ABC News
For 15 years, Kae Guardi loved her Depo-Provera, taking injections of the synthetic birth control hormone once every three months and never having to worry about menstruating. But at age 48, nearing menopause, Gaurdi went off it for eight months and was overwhelmed with severe symptoms: nausea, breast tenderness and fatigue. And the dry heaves were so bad that she went back on the shots.
Produced by Pfizer, Depo-Provera is the brand name for an aqueous suspension of medroxyprogesterone acetate, which is injected every 12 weeks in the woman’s buttock or upper arm to prevent ovulation. It is 97 percent effective in typical use. The drug, which is also used to treat endometriosis, as well as other medical conditions, has had a long safety record since it was first introduced in 1967. The original manufacturer, Upjohn, was repeatedly denied approval by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s, until 1992 when it was allowed to market Depo-Provera in the United States for contraception. Read more at ABC News