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Home / Drugs / Starting with P / Progesterone

The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the corpus luteum and the placenta. Progesterone acts on the uterus, the mammary glands, and the brain. It is required in embryo implantation, pregnancy maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for milk production. Progesterone, converted from pregnenolone, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of gonadal steroid hormones and adrenal corticosteroids. [PubChem]
ManufacturersBristol myers squibb
Amarin pharmaceuticals inc
Solvay pharmaceuticals
Esi pharmacal
Unimed pharmaceuticals llc
Watson laboratories inc
App pharmaceuticals llc
Eli lilly and co
Pharmaforce inc
Alza corp
Ferring pharmaceuticals inc
PackagersAbraxis BioScience Inc.
APP Pharmaceuticals
Ascend Therapeutics
Carlisle Laboratories Inc.
Catalent Pharma Solutions
Columbia Labs
Consolidated Midland Corp.
Cutis Pharma Inc.
Darby Dental Supply Co. Inc.
Fleet Laboratories Ltd.
Lyne Laboratories Inc.
Marlex Pharmaceuticals
Martica Enterprises Inc.
Martin Surgical Supply
Merit Pharmaceuticals
My Healthcare Packaging Ltd. Contract Packaging
Paddock Labs
Pharmaceutics International Inc.
Pharmaforce Inc.
Physicians Total Care Inc.
Primedics Laboratories
Redpharm Drug
Solvay Pharmaceuticals
Spectrum Chemicals and Laboratory Products
V Sab Medical Labs Inc.
Watson Pharmaceuticals
SynonymsCorpus Luteum Hormone
Progesterona [INN-Spanish]
Progesteronum [INN-Latin]


For progesterone supplementation or replacement as part of an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatment for infertile women with progesterone deficiency and for the treatment of secondary amenorrhea. Also used for the reduction of the incidence of endometrial hyperplasia and the attendant risk of endometrial carcinoma in postmenopausal women receiving estrogen replacement therapy, as well as treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding due to hormonal imbalance in the absence of organic pathology such as fibroids or uterine cancer.


Progesterone is a naturally occuring progestin or a synthetic form of the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone. In a woman's normal menstrual cycle, an egg matures and is released from the ovaries (ovulation). The ovary then produces progesterone, preventing the release of further eggs and priming the lining of the womb for a possible pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels in the body remain high, maintaining the womb lining. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels in the body fall, resulting in a menstrual period. Progesterone tricks the body processes into thinking that ovulation has already occurred by maintaining high levels of the synthetic progesterone. This prevents the release of eggs from the ovaries.

mechanism of action

Progesterone shares the pharmacological actions of the progestins. Progesterone binds to the progesterone and estrogen receptors. Target cells include the female reproductive tract, the mammary gland, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary. Once bound to the receptor, progestins like Progesterone will slow the frequency of release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus and blunt the pre-ovulatory LH (luteinizing hormone) surge. In women who have adequate endogenous estrogen, progesterone transforms a proliferative endometrium into a secretory one. Progesterone is essential for the development of decidual tissue and is necessary to increase endometrial receptivity for implantation of an embryo. Once an embryo has been implanted, progesterone acts to maintain the pregnancy. Progesterone also stimulates the growth of mammary alveolar tissue and relaxes uterine smooth muscle. It has little estrogenic and androgenic activity.


Progesterone is metabolized primarily by the liver largely to pregnanediols and pregnanolones.


Progesterone absorption is prolonged with an absorption half-life of approximately 25-50 hours.

half life

34.8-55.13 hours

route of elimination

The glucuronide and sulfate conjugates of pregnanediol and pregnanolone are excreted in the urine and bile. Progesterone metabolites which are excreted in the bile may undergo enterohepatic recycling or may be excreted in the feces. Progesterone metabolites are excreted mainly by the kidneys.