The current study is among several funded by NICHD to evaluate the impact of DMPA on bone density in women, explained the study’s project officer, Steven Kaufman, M.D., M.S., of NICHD’s Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch. These studies are looking at the effect of DMPA on bone health in women of various age and racial groups.
“Our goal in funding these and other studies is to provide women with reliable information on which to base their contraceptive choices,?Dr. Kaufman said. “Depo-Provera is one of the most effective contraceptives ?its side effects need to be weighed against the potential consequences of an unintended pregnancy that could result from using a less effective method.?/p>
On November 17, 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a “black box warning?for DMPA, stating that prolonged use of the drug may result in significant loss of bone density, that the loss is greater the longer the drug is administered and that bone density loss may not be completely reversible after discontinuation of the drug.
The FDA warning states: “Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection should be used as a long-term birth control method (e.g. longer than 2 years) only if other birth control methods are inadequate.?The black box warning is available at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/SAFETY/2004/DepoProvera_Label.pdf.
Other authors of the study were: Group Health investigators Andrea Z. LaCroix, PhD, Laura E. Ichikawa, MS, and William E. Barlow, PhD.; and the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Susan M. Ott, MD.