Megestrol

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Megestrol Brand Name(s): Megestrol.

Uses

What is Megestrol used for?

Megestrol is used to treat cancer of the breast or uterus. Megestrol is similar to a natural substance made by your body called progesterone.

How should I take Megestrol?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. The dosage and how often you take this medication are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.

How do I store Megestrol?

Megestrol is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Megestrol in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Megestrol that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Megestrol down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Megestrol?

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: adrenal gland problems (such as Cushing’s syndrome), blood clots, diabetes, heart disease (such as congestive heart failure), high blood pressure, kidney disease, stomach or abdominal problems, unusual vaginal bleeding.

If you have diabetes, this product may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Using megestrol for a long time may make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have recently stopped taking it. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual/extreme tiredness, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially the risk for blood clots.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Women of childbearing age should use an effective form of birth control while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Megestrol during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Megestrol. Megestrol is pregnancy risk category X according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Megestrol?

Trouble sleeping, fever, gas, decreased sexual ability/desire, weight gain, changes in appetite, or upset stomach may occur. Women may have changes in their menstrual periods, including unpredictable bleeding. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast/pounding heartbeat, fatigue, headache, swelling of the hands/feet.

This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: symptoms of a blood clot (such as chest pain, trouble breathing, pain/redness/swelling of arms or legs), confusion, mental/mood changes, weakness/numbness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, vision changes.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Megestrol?

A product that may interact with this drug is: dofetilide.

Megestrol may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Megestrol?

Megestrol may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Megestrol?

Megestrol may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Megestrol.

What is the dose of Megestrol for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer-Palliative

Megestrol tablets are indicated for use in the palliative treatment of advanced carcinoma of the breast: 160 mg/day (40 mg of oral tablets four times a day)

Usual Adult Dose for Endometrial Carcinoma

Megestrol tablets are indicated for use in the palliative treatment of advanced carcinoma of the endometrium: 40 to 320 mg/day of oral tablets in divided doses

Usual Adult Dose for Anorexia

Megestrol oral suspension is indicated for use in the treatment of anorexia at a dose of 800 mg/day.

Alternatively, 625 mg/5 mL of the concentrated formula (Megace ES formula) may be given.

Note: 800 mg/20 mL of the regular formula is equivalent to 625 mg/ 5 mL of the concentrated formula.

Usual Adult Dose for Cachexia

Megestrol oral suspension is indicated for use in the treatment of cachexia at a dose of 800 mg/day.

Alternatively, 625 mg/5 mL of the concentrated formula (Megace ES formula) may be given.

Note: 800 mg/20 mL of the regular formula is equivalent to 625 mg/ 5 mL of the concentrated formula.

Usual Adult Dose for Weight Loss

Megestrol oral suspension is indicated for use in the treatment of unexplained, significant weight loss in patients with a diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) at a dose of 800 mg/day.

Alternatively, 625 mg/5 mL of the concentrated formula (Megace ES formula) may be given.

Note: 800 mg/20 mL of the regular formula is equivalent to 625 mg/ 5 mL of the concentrated formula.

Usual Adult Dose for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding

5 to 10 mg/day for 5 to 10 days

Other Comments

A minimum of two months of continuous treatment is considered to be an adequate period for determining the efficacy of megestrol tablets.

What is the dose of Megestrol for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Megestrol available?

Megestrol is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral suspension,
  • Oral tablet,
  • Compounding powder.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Megestrol, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: March 23, 2018 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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