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Megestrol acetate (By mouth)

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

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

Brand Name(s):

Megace ES

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to megestrol, or if you are or may be pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • For cancer treatment, you may need to take this medicine for at least 2 months before it starts to work.
  • Oral liquid: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake well before using.
  • Missed dose: 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.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some medicines can affect how megestrol acetate works. Tell your doctor if you are using a blood thinner (including warfarin).

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.
  • Tell your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, adrenal problems, cancer, Cushing's syndrome, diabetes, an infection, stomach problems, or a history of blood clots.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Increased risk of cancer
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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, trouble breathing, 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, sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf)
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

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

  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Hair loss
  • Hot flashes, sweating, mood changes
  • Mild headache
  • 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: 5/1/2020

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