Megace, also known as megestrol acetate, is a synthetic progestin hormone indicated to treat endometrial cancer, gynecological disorders, and advanced breast cancer in women. Megace belongs to a class of drugs called Antineoplastics, Hormones; Progestins; Appetite Stimulants. It works by stopping estrogen’s ability to stimulate (turn on) cancer cell growth, megestrol can stop the tumor from spreading.
Megace is a prescription medication used in the treatment of certain conditions related to hormone production. Megestrol is a progestin, which is a manmade form of the natural sex hormone progesterone. It can be used to treat weight loss due to advanced stages of AIDS, but it can also be used to reduce the risk of disease progression in women with advanced breast cancer.
Uses and Dosage
Megestrol is typically taken orally as a tablet multiple times a day, consistently at the same time(s) every day. Carefully follow the instructions printed on the prescription label and ask your doctor or pharmacist for clarification if needed. Megestrol should be taken exactly as prescribed; taking more or less than instructed, or taking it more frequently than intended, can be harmful and should be avoided.
The typical dosing for megestrol may vary depending on the medical condition being treated. Megestrol is typically used for a minimum of 2 months. For breast cancer, the typical dosage is 40 mg taken orally four times a day. For endometrial cancer, the typical dosing ranges from 40 mg to 320 mg taken orally per day, divided into several doses throughout the day. Doses may differ based on individual medical history and should be determined by a doctor.
Common Side Effects of Megace (Megestrol Acetate):
- Breakthrough menstrual (period) bleeding or “spotting”
- High blood sugar
- Increased appetite
- Increased blood sugar
- Stomach upset
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
Serious Side Effects of Megace (Megestrol Acetate):
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Feeling unwell or weak
- Hair loss
- High blood pressure
- Hot flashes
- Legs (pain, swelling, warm to the touch, redness)
- Lungs (trouble breathing, chest pain, cough)
- Mood changes
- Skin rash
- Blood clots
- Trouble speaking
- Vision changes
Form and strength
Megace (Megestrol Acetate) is available in the following forms and strengths:
· Megace: Tablet
- 160 mg
· Megestrol Acetate: Tablet
- 40 mg
- 160 mg
- If you have diabetes, regularly monitor your blood sugar levels while taking megestrol, as this medication can potentially increase your blood sugar levels.
- If you use megestrol for a prolonged period, your body may have difficulty responding to physical stress. Before undergoing surgery, emergency treatment or if you have a serious illness/injury, inform your doctor or dentist that you are either using this medication or have stopped taking it recently.
- Taking Megace while pregnant may cause harm to your unborn baby. Talk with your provider if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant before starting this medication.
- Tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history before using megestrol, particularly if you have: adrenal gland problems, blood clots, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, stomach or abdominal problems, or unusual vaginal bleeding.
- You should inform your doctor and pharmacist whether you are allergic to megestrol, any other medications, or any of the inactive ingredients present in megestrol tablets. To get a list of inactive ingredients, you can consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are there any precautions I should take while using Megace?
Megace may interact with other medications or medical conditions, so it is important to inform your doctor of all the medications and medical conditions you have.
Is Megace safe for long-term use?
Megace may be used on a long-term basis in certain situations but discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Regular monitoring by a healthcare professional may be necessary.
How long does it take for Megace to start working?
The time it takes for Megace to start working may vary depending on the individual patient and the condition being treated. In general, it may take a few weeks to see noticeable effects.
Is Megace addictive?
Megace is not considered to be addictive, and there is no known potential for abuse or dependence.
Can Megace be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
The safety of Megace during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not well established, and pregnant or breastfeeding individuals should consult their healthcare provider before using Megace.