Megestrol

Pronunciation

Generic Name: megestrol (me-JES-trol)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Megestrol is used for:

Treating symptoms of advanced cancer of the breast or uterus. It should not be used in place of surgery, radiation treatments, or chemotherapy. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Megestrol is a progesterone hormone. Exactly how it works to treat the symptoms of cancer is unknown.

Do NOT use megestrol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in megestrol
  • you are taking dofetilide

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using megestrol:

Some medical conditions may interact with megestrol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are able to become pregnant
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have endocrine problems (eg, adrenal gland problems), diabetes or high blood sugar, kidney problems, mental or mood problems, an infection, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding, or certain stomach or bowel problems that affect how you absorb nutrients
  • if you have any other type of cancer
  • if you have a history of blood clots (eg, in the lungs or legs) or stroke

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with megestrol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Rifamycins (eg, rifampin) because they may decrease megestrol's effectiveness
  • Dofetilide because the risk of its side effects, including irregular heartbeat, may be increased by megestrol
  • Indinavir because its effectiveness may be decreased by megestrol

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if megestrol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use megestrol:

Use megestrol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take megestrol by mouth with or without food.
  • Megestrol must be taken for at least 2 months to determine its effectiveness. Do not stop taking megestrol without checking with your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of megestrol, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use megestrol.

Important safety information:

  • Megestrol may reduce the amount of natural steroid your body makes. This may occur while you take megestrol or after you stop taking it. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms such as fainting or severe or unusual weakness, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. You may need to take a corticosteroid (eg, prednisone), especially if you experience a period of physical stress (eg, major infection, surgery, injury).
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take megestrol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Megestrol is not intended for use in the prevention of weight loss.
  • Breakthrough bleeding may occur in women taking megestrol. Contact your doctor if you experience unusual or unexplained vaginal bleeding.
  • Megestrol may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
  • Diabetes patients - Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Megestrol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • If you may become pregnant, you must use an effective form of birth control while you take megestrol. If you have questions about effective birth control, talk with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use megestrol if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Megestrol is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking megestrol.

Possible side effects of megestrol:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; difficulty sleeping; gas; headache; increased appetite; indigestion; weakness; weight gain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); burning, numbness, or tingling; calf or leg pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness; chest pain; confusion; coughing up blood; decreased sexual desire or ability; depression; difficult or painful urination; enlarged breasts in men; hot flashes; inability to control urination; irregular heartbeat; nausea; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or light-headedness; severe or persistent headache; shortness of breath; signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat); swelling of the hands, ankles, legs, or feet; unusual thoughts; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision changes; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include chest pain; cough; diarrhea; difficulty walking; nausea; shortness of breath; sluggishness or lack of energy; stomach pain.

Proper storage of megestrol:

Store at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep megestrol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about megestrol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Megestrol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take megestrol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about megestrol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to megestrol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using megestrol.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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