Was my procedure correct using a 1 inch needle if my patient weighed 288 pounds? #1202/14

Q:        I gave an IM injection of Depo-Provera 150mg/ml to a patient weighing 288 pounds following a first trimester abortion.  I used a 1 inch needle and gave it in the gluteal muscle, her preferred site.

Do you feel this is adequate due to her weight and the fact that the needle was only 1 inch and not a 1 ½ inch needle?

I called Pfizer and the pharmacist stated there is no dose adjustment based on weight and that the pre-filled syringes use a 1 ½ inch needle.

Also, we have an underweight patient who would like her second Depo-Provera injection following a first trimester abortion.  Her weight is 95 pounds and her height is 5’2”.  Can you give advice about this issue?

Thank you


A:        You raise three questions.  I will try to answer them all.

1.    Weight is not a factor in providing 150 mg injections of IM Depo-Provera.
2.    I imagine your one injection with a one-inch needle will be effective.  You could encourage her to use condoms for the duration of that injection – particularly in the last month.  In the future use 1 ½ inch needles.
3.    A very light woman may use 150 mg injections of Depo as her contraceptive.

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH

Emeritus Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Emory University School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA

To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of Depo-Provera injections, go to: www.managingcontraception.com and click on Choices 2013 edition.  You can also order this wonderful new educational book from our website or by calling 404-875-5001.  Do you have your copy yet?  It is now available in English and Spanish.


Key Words:  Depo-Provera injections, weight, trimester abortion, needle, adequate, Pfizer, pharmacist, dose adjustment, syringes, factor, effective, condoms


Contraceptive Technology 20th Edition

Managing Contraception 2013-2014-Skyla Edition

Choices 2013


Posted on

January 7, 2015