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Megestrol acetate (By mouth)

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, Megace ES

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

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • 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:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take 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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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 out of the reach of children. 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:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • 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 check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. 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


Last Updated: 9/4/2014


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