Hydroxyprogesterone (Intramuscular)

Hydroxyprogesterone is given to pregnant women who have previously delivered a premature baby to help prevent early birth from recurring.

Overview

Hydroxyprogesterone is a man-made form of progestin hormones. The medication is administered to pregnant women to reduce the risk of them suffering a premature birth. A preterm birth is considered to be 37 weeks or less and this medication would only be given to mothers who have delivered a pre-term birth previously to this.

The medication must only be given under the direct supervision of a doctor and is available as an oil or as a solution for injection.

Hydroxyprogesterone is injected directly into the muscle of the thigh or buttock and needs to be administered on a regular seven day cycle. It is given to the patient weekly from between 16 to 20 weeks and 37 weeks of pregnancy, or until the baby is born.

Condition treated

  • Prevention of preterm birth

Type Of Medicine

  • Hormone

Side Effects

As well as helping to delay the birth of a potentially preterm baby, the use of Hydroxyprogesterone can cause some other unwanted side effects to occur. When these side effects do occur they may require that you seek medical attention.

You should check with your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience any of the following side effects from using Hydroxyprogesterone:

Occurring more commonly:

  • Experienced at the site of injection
  •  Itching
  •  Pain
  • Swelling

Occurring less commonly:

  • Small lumps developing at the site of injection

Frequency of occurrence not known:

  • Anxiousness
  • Chest pains
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting or faintness
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Redness, soreness or feeling of warmth on the skin
  • Shortness of breath or troubled breathing occurring without exertion

The following side effects could also occur from the use of this medication that should not normally require that you seek any medical attention. These side effects may become bothersome or be ongoing and in these cases you can consult your healthcare professional for advice on how to alleviate the side effects. Often this side effects will abate over time, however, and they are normally mild:

  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Welts

Side effects from the use of Hydroxyprogesterone can also occur in some patients. If you experience a side effect from use that is not listed here then you should consult your doctor immediately. If you believe you immediate health to be at risk, however, then you should always contact the emergency services.

Dosage

This medication will always be administered in a hospital or a clinic. It is injected directly into the muscle of the patient. This is usually done into the hip or buttocks.

You will only be treated with this medication on a weekly cycle. Treatment will be given from between 16-20 weeks of pregnancy until birth or to 37 weeks of pregnancy.

It is vital that this medication is received on a regular weekly basis. If a dose is missed then you must call your doctor straight away to rearrange treatment.

Patients will be given a medication guide to read before beginning treatment. It is vital that you read and understand this before beginning treatment. Discuss anything that you do not understand with your doctor before use.

The usual dose of this medication given is 250mg once every 7 days.

Interactions

Certain medications should never be taken in conjunction with one another. This is because they can interact with one another in the body. Some medications should never be used together and you may need to take an altered dose of other medications to prevent interaction. So that you can avoid the occurrence of drug interaction with Hydroxyprogesterone you must tell your doctor of all medications that you are taking. This includes any prescription medications, vitamins, herbal remedies and over the counter medications that you are taking.

Other medical problems that you are suffering from can also impact the use of this treatment. The presence of the following conditions must be reported to your doctor along with your full medical history.

Patients with the following conditions should not be treated with Hydroxyprogesterone:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • History of blood clots
  • History of breast cancer
  • Cholestasis in pregnancy
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer or tumors of the liver

Patients with the following conditions will need to be monitored during treatment as they may be worsened:

  • Asthma
  • History of depression
  • History of diabetes
  • History of seizures, convulsions or epilepsy
  • Retention of fluid
  • Heart problems
  • Controlled hypertension
  • Kidney problems
  • Migraine headaches
  • Preeclampsia

Other medical conditions that have not been listed could also affect use. Ensure your doctor is fully aware of all conditions you have or have suffered from in the past before use.

Warnings

Before beginning use of Hydroxyprogesterone it is important that you weigh the risks of use against the benefits. You should consider the options with your doctor and take the following factors into account in making this decision:

Allergies' Your doctor will need to know of all allergies from which you suffer before treatment. Allergic reactions can occur to medications. It is particularly important that you inform your doctor if you have ever reacted badly to any medication in the past.

Serious allergic reactions can occur from use. You must stop use immediately and inform your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swellings with the appearance of hives on the:
  •  Face
  •  Eyelids
  •  Lips
  • Tongue
  •  Hands
  •  Legs
  •  Feet
  • Sexual organs
  • Pediatric' This medication should not be used under the age of 16. Safety and efficiency have not been established below this age.

Geriatric' This medication should not be used in elderly women. The safety and efficiency of use has not been established.

When taking this medication it is vital that you return for a weekly dose of the treatment. The doctor will need to examine you and determine if the treatment should be continued at each visit and will provide you with the medication as a shot when required. If you miss appointments then the medication will not be effective and you will be at risk of preterm birth occurring.

You must stop using the treatment with immediate effect and contact your doctor immediately if the following side effects occur. These can be symptoms of serious medical conditions:

  • Pain in the:
  •  Chest
  • Groin
  • Legs
  • Calves
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden and severe headache
  • Slurring of speech
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden loss of coordination
  • Changed vision

You should contact your doctor straight away if you experience any oozing of blood or fluid from the site of the injection.

Liver problems may develop from the use of this medication. You should inform your doctor straight away if you experience these symptoms of liver problems:

  • Tenderness in the stomach
  • Pale stools
  • Darkened urine
  • Lost appetite
  • Nausea
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unusual weakness
  • Yellowing of the eyes
  • Yellowing of the skin

You should not take any other medication in conjunction with this treatment unless you have been directed to by the doctor. This includes both prescribed and non-prescribed treatments.

Storage

This medication should be stored at controlled room temperature. Do not freeze or refrigerate it. Protect this medication from light.

Do not use if cloudy or contains visible particulates.

Dispose of any opened treatment after no more than 28 days.

Summary

Hydroxyprogesterone is a man-made hormone treatment that used prevent early birth from occurring in pregnant women. Preterm birth is the birth of a child before 37 weeks of gestation. When this has previously occurred for a mother, they are treated with Hydroxyprogesterone during their next pregnancy to prevent a recurrence of preterm delivery.

Hydroxyprogesterone is administered in hospitals and clinics only and will be given under the direct supervision of a doctor at all times. The medication is delivered as an injection directly into the muscle of the thigh or buttock of the patient and needs to be administered weekly. Patients will need to attend the appointment on a weekly basis to ensure that they are responding well to the treatment and to receive their next dose. This medication needs to be given regularly in order for it to work.

Use of Hydroxyprogesterone is only to be carried out in patients over the age of 16 and is not suitable for use in elderly patients. It is only used after a first pregnancy has been delivered as a preterm baby.

Some serious medical complications can occur from the use of this treatment. Before use, you must read the medication guide and ensure that you understand it fully. If you have any questions about the treatment then you should discuss them with your doctor before you begin use of the treatment.