Makena

(Hydroxyprogesterone)

3.2/ 5 average rating with 30 reviewsforMakena
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Helps women carry a baby to full term.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) lowers your chance of having your baby too early, but you should weigh its risks and benefits carefully with your prenatal care provider.

Quick facts about Makena
  • Drug class: Women's health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) helps pregnant women avoid delivering too early if they've already delivered a premature baby in the past.
  • If there's concern that you will have an early delivery (preterm birth), your doctor can start giving you the injection every week in their office. You can start between 16 and 20 weeks and continue through week 37 or until you deliver (whichever happens first).
  • Your doctor can give you this shot every week, or you can get a helper to give it to you at home. There are also programs where pharmacies work with registered nurses to give you this shot in your home. Ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • There are two size vials of Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) available. The larger size vial is able to be used more than once, so you don't have to make as many trips to the pharmacy to pick it up.
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What to expect from Makena, on one page

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People’s experience with Makena

30reviews so far. What do you think?

Downsides

  • Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) injections can cause pain, soreness, swelling, or bruising near the area where the injection is given.
  • Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) isn't right for you if you're pregnant with more than 1 baby (twins, triplets, etc).
  • Women using Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) had a higher chance of miscarriage, gestational diabetes (diabetes caused by pregnancy), and preeclampsia (high blood pressure and too much protein in your urine).
  • You can't use Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) if you have liver problems.
  • Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) is only available as brand name, so it may be expensive.
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What to expect from Makena, on one page

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How it works

Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) is an injection that contains hydroxyprogesterone, a progesterone hormone that lowers the risk of having your baby too early (a preterm birth). The exact way Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) works isn't known, but progesterone helps create a healthy environment for your baby in your uterus during the last half of your pregnancy.

Quick facts about Makena
  • Drug class: Women's health
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Dosage forms

  • Injection
People’s experience with Makena

30reviews so far. What do you think?

What to expect when you take Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) for Preterm labor

Skip what to expect section. Skip to side effects section.
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Pain where injected
  • Swelling where injected
  • Itching
  • Lump or bump where injected
  • Preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Diabetes caused by pregnancy
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Side effect rates for Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone)

From 316 clinical trials of Makena when taken for preterm labor (250 mg)
  • Pain where injected
    35%35%
    33%33%
  • Swelling where injected
    17%17%
    8%8%
  • Admission for preterm labor
    16%16%
    14%14%
  • Hives
    12%12%
    11%11%
  • Preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy
    9%9%
    5%5%
  • Itching
    8%8%
    6%6%
  • Diabetes caused by pregnancy
    6%6%
    5%5%
  • Itching where injected
    6%6%
    3%3%
  • Nausea
    6%6%
    5%5%
  • Lump or bump where injected
    5%5%
    2%2%
  • Not enough amniotic fluid
    4%4%
    1%1%
  • Miscarriage
    2%2%
  • Stillbirth
    2%2%
    1%1%
  • Diarrhea
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Makena.

Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone)
Placebo

People taking Makena felt side effect more

People taking Makena felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Personal or family history of blood clots
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

    Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) can raise your risk of blood clots, which can be very dangerous. You're more likely to have them if you smoke tobacco, are obese, or if you or your family have a history of blood clots. Get medical care right away if you have pain in your legs or arms, bad headaches, trouble breathing, or sudden changes in your speech or vision.

Common concerns from people taking Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone)

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Kidneys and liver
  • Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) is broken down by the liver, so if the liver is damaged, the drug can build up in your body. If you notice sudden yellowing of your skin or eyes, talk to your doctor before your next injection. Don't start taking it if you have abnormal liver blood tests or a history of liver problems.
  • You can't use Makena (Hydroxyprogesterone) if you have liver problems.