Megestrol acetate (By mouth)

Introduction

Megestrol Acetate (me-JES-trol AS-e-tate)

Megestrol tablets treat breast and uterine cancer. Megace® ES liquid is used to increase appetite and prevent weight loss in patients with AIDS.

Brand Name(s)

Megace ES, Megace

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to megestrol. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant, or if you think you might be pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • For cancer treatment, you may need to take this medicine for at least 2 months before it starts to work.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake well before using.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, Cushing's syndrome, kidney disease, or a history of blood clots.
  • Using this medicine for a long time may increase your risk of some kinds of cancer. Talk to your doctor about this risk.
  • This medicine may cause weight gain as a result of an increased appetite.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood.
  • Extreme nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or weakness.
  • Increased thirst, increase in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf).
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bleeding between menstrual periods.
  • Hair loss.
  • Hot flashes, sweating.
  • Mood changes.
  • Pain in your hand or wrist.
  • Rash.
  • Trouble having or maintaining an erection.
  • Trouble sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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