- What is megestrol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for megestrol?
- What are the side effects of megestrol?
- What is the dosage for megestrol?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with megestrol?
- Is megestrol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about megestrol?
What is megestrol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Megestrol is a synthetic female hormone belonging to the progesterone group. It is used for stimulating appetite and treating breast cancer. Progesterone is a hormone produced by the body, especially in women, that helps control the menstrual period as well as other body functions. How megestrol stimulates appetite or suppresses cancer is not understood. The FDA approved megestrol in September 1993.
What brand names are available for megestrol?
Megace, Megace ES, Megace Oral
Is megestrol available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for megestrol?
What are the side effects of megestrol?
The most common side effects are:
- weight gain,
- mood swings,
- breakthrough menstrual bleeding,
- high blood pressure, and
- excess gas (flatulence).
What is the dosage for megestrol?
The recommended dose for stimulating appetite is 800 mg per day of the regular megestrol suspension (40 mg/ml) or 625 mg per day of the ES formulation (125 mg/ml). Breast cancer is treated with 40 mg four times daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with megestrol?
Is megestrol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Megestrol should not be used while breastfeeding due to potential adverse effects in the infant.
What else should I know about megestrol?
What preparations of megestrol are available?
Tablets: 20 and 40 mg. Oral suspension: 40 mg/mL or 125 mg/mL.
How should I keep megestrol stored?
Megestrol should be stored in a dry place at room temperature, 15 C-25 C (59 F-77 F).
Latest Cancer News
Megestrol (Megace, Megace ES) is a drug prescribed for stimulating the appetite in patients with AIDS who have poor appetite or an unexplained significant weight loss. This medication is also used for treating breast cancer and weight loss associated with cancer. Review side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this medication.
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Still incurable, AIDS describes immune system collapse that opens the way for opportunistic infections and cancers to kill the patient. Early symptoms and signs of HIV infection include flu-like symptoms and fungal infections, but some people may not show any symptoms for years. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection. These combination drug regimens have made HIV much less deadly, but a cure or vaccine for the pandemic remains out of reach. HIV is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but can also infect someone through contact with infected blood. Sexual abstinence, safe sex practices, quitting IV drugs (or at least using clean needles), and proper safety equipment by clinicians and first responders can drastically reduce transmission rates for HIV/AIDS.
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Though uterine cancer's cause is unknown, there are many factors that will put a woman at risk, including being over age 50, having endometrial hyperplasia, using hormone replacement therapy, obesity, using tamoxifen, being Caucasian, and/or having colorectal cancer. Symptoms and signs of cancer of the uterus (endometrial cancer) include abnormal vaginal bleeding, painful urination, painful intercourse, and pelvic pain. Treatment depends on staging and may include radiation therapy or hormone therapy.
Paget Disease of the Breast (Paget's Disease of the Nipple)
Paget's disease is a rare form of cancer that forms in or around the nipple and frequently coexists with breast cancer. The exact cause of Paget's disease is unknown. Symptoms and signs include redness, scaling, and flaking of the nipple skin. A biopsy and imaging studies are needed to diagnose the disease. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and adjuvant therapy.
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. Symptoms and signs of AIDS include pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jiroveci, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, seizures, weakness, meningitis, yeast infection of the esophagus, and Kaposi's sarcoma. Anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) is used in the treatment of AIDS.
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Estrogen therapy, also known as hormone replacement therapy, is a treatment for alleviating the symptoms caused by menopausal transition. Estrogen therapy can alleviate symptoms like hot flashes, painful intercourse and bone loss.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.