Medroxyprogesterone acetate (INN, USAN, BAN), also known as 17α-hydroxy-6α-methylprogesterone acetate, and commonly abbreviated as MPA, is a steroidal progestin, a synthetic variant of the human hormone progesterone. Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) administered orally or parenterally in the recommended doses to women with adequate endogenous estrogen, transforms proliferative into secretory endometrium. Androgenic and anabolic effects have been noted, but the drug is apparently devoid of significant estrogenic activity. While parenterally administered MPA inhibits gonadotropin production, which in turn prevents follicular maturation and ovulation, available data indicate that this does not occur when the usually recommended oral dosage is given as single daily doses. MPA is a more potent derivative of its parent compound medroxyprogesterone (MP). While medroxyprogesterone is sometimes used as a synonym for medroxyprogesterone acetate, what is normally being administered is MPA and not MP. Used as a contraceptive and to treat secondary amenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, pain associated with endometriosis, endometrial and renal cell carcinomas, paraphilia in males, GnRH-dependent forms of precocious puberty, as well as to prevent endometrial changes associated with estrogens. Progestins diffuse freely into target cells in the female reproductive tract, mammary gland, hypothalamus, and the pituitary and bind to the progesterone receptor. Once bound to the receptor, progestins slow the frequency of release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus and blunt the pre-ovulatory LH surge. NCATS
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