Megestrol Acetate

Megestrol Acetate

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By Medicover Hospitals / 21 Dec 2020
Home | Medicine | Megestrol Acetate

What is Megestrol Acetate?

Megestrol acetate (MGA), marketed under the brand name Megace, among others, is a progestin drug that is used primarily as an appetite stimulant to treat waste syndromes such as cachexia. It is also used to treat breast cancer and endometrial cancer and has been used for birth control.

  1. Megestrol Acetate uses
  2. Megestrol Acetate side effects
  3. Precautions
  4. Megestrol Acetate Dosage
  5. Megestrol Acetate Storage
  6. Megestrol vs Cyproheptadine
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. Citations

Megestrol Acetate Uses:

Treatment of endometrial cancers and breast
Used as a supportive medication to treat severe loss of appetite (anorexia); muscle wasting (cachexia) and significant weight loss (> 10% of baseline body weight) associated with cancer and/or AIDS.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, doctors may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it might be helpful.

How Megestrol Acetate drug is administered?

Megestrol is delivered by mouth in the form of a tablet or as a liquid suspension.
The amount of megestrol you will receive depends on a variety of factors, including your height and weight, your general health or other health conditions, and the type of cancer or disease you have. Your doctor will decide your dosage and your schedule.

Why is Megestrol Acetate drug prescribed?

Megestrol tablets are used for alleviating the symptoms and reducing pain which is caused by advanced breast cancer and advanced endometrial cancer (cancer that occurs in the lining of the uterus). Megestrol suspension is being used for treating lack of appetite, malnutrition, and extreme weight loss in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Megestrol should not be used to avoid loss of appetite and extreme weight loss in patients who have not yet developed. Megestrol is a man-made form of a human hormone called progesterone. It treats breast cancer and endometrial cancer by affecting female hormones that are involved in cancer development. It increases your weight gain by increasing your appetite.

Megestrol Acetate Side Effects:

Megestrol can cause side effects. Seek medical help of your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Impotence
  • Unforeseen menstrual bleeding
  • Difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Gas
  • Rashes

Serious Megestrol Acetate Side Effects:

Many of the side effects are very severe. If you are having any of these signs, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Nausea
  • Smoking
  • Dizziness
  • Impairment
  • Vision blurred
  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme starvation
  • Pain in the leg
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Sharp, crushing pain in the chest


  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist whether you are allergic to megestrol, any other drugs, or any of the inactive ingredients in megestrol capsules, suspensions or condensed suspensions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of inactive ingredients.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist what prescriptional and nonprescriptional drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal items you are taking or expect to take. Be sure to note antibiotics, indinavir (Crixivan) and warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Tell your doctor whether you have or have ever had a blood clot in your body, a stroke, diabetes, or kidney or liver disease.
  • Tell your doctor whether you are pregnant, expect to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you get pregnant while taking megestrol, call your doctor right away. Megestrol may damage the fetus. Do not breastfeed while taking megestrol.
  • Speak to your doctor about the dangers and benefits of megestrol if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not be permittedYou should know that megestrol can interfere with the normal menstrual cycle (period) of women. You should not presume, however, that you cannot become pregnant. Using a safe birth control tool to prevent pregnancy. If you are having surgery, like dental surgery, during or immediately after your procedure, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking megestrol.

Megestrol Acetate Dosage:

Megestrol is a type of hormonal therapy. Hormones are chemical compounds produced by glands in the body that enter the bloodstream and cause effects in other tissues. (For example, testosterone hormone produced in the testicles is responsible for male characteristics such as deeper voice and increased body hair). Used as a hormone therapy to treat cancer is focused on the finding that receptors for particular hormones are required for cell development.

Hormone therapy works by preventing the development of a certain hormone, blocking hormone receptors, or substituting chemically identical agents for an active hormone that cannot be used by a tumor cell. The various forms of hormone therapy are classified by their function and/or the type of hormone that is affected.

Megestrol is known as a progestin (a man-made form of the hormone progesterone). It has properties that interact with the normal oestrogen cycle.This interferes with the stimulation of cell growth in oestrogen-dependent tumor cells. It is also believed to have a direct effect on the lining of the uterine wall (endometrium).

The side effect of megestrol was weight gain. The exact mechanism of this effect is unknown, but the results contribute to an increase in body fat. Taking advantage of this side effect, megestrol has been researched and used to treat extreme loss of appetite (anorexia), loss of muscle (cachexia) and loss of weight. associate with cancer and AIDS

The dosage of megestrol acetate used to treat breast cancer is 160 mg/day (40 mg four times daily). For the treatment of endometrial carcinoma, the dosage is 40 to 320 mg/day in divided doses. Megestrol acetate can interact with other medications. Tell your doctor of all the drugs and supplements you use.


  • Drugs can change the way your drugs work.
  • Can lead to some serious side effects.
  • Keep a record of all the medications you are using, the prescribed and non prescribed drugs as well as herbal products) and check them with your doctor and pharmacist.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any drug without your doctor's permission.
  • Consult a doctor before taking it.

Missed dose:

If you are using Megestrol Acetate on a daily basis and skip a dose, use it as soon as you recall it. If it is near the next dose, skip the skipped dose. Using the next dose on a daily basis. Do Not double the dose to recover the missed dose.


If overdosed, Megestrol Acetate can be harmful. When someone has overdosed and has extreme signs such as passing out or respiratory problems can occur.

Megestrol Acetate Storage:

Store it away from heat, light and moisture at room temperature. Don't store it in the toilet.

Do not flush the drug down the toilet or dump it into the sink unless told to do so. Disposal of this product is very important when it has expired or is no longer required. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more information about how to safely dispose of your product.

Megestrol vs Cyproheptadine:

Prescribed for Given for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, AIDS Associated Wasting, Anorexia, Breast Cancer Palliative, Cachexia, Endometrial Cancer, Endometrial Hyperplasia, Hot Flashes.
Can also be prescribed off the weight loss label.
Given for the Allergic Rhinitis, Anorexia Nervosa,Severe Allergic Reactions, Headaches, Migraine, Cushing Syndrome, Pruritus, Urticaria.
It can also be administered off the label for Failure to Survive.
Drug class Megestrol is from class progestins Cyproheptadine is from class Antihistamines
Dosage 40 mg/ml 4mg
Forms available Oral suspension
Oral tablet
Oral syrup
Oral tablet
Generic availability Yes Yes

Frequently Asked Questions:

Used primarily as an appetite stimulant to treat waste syndromes such as cachexia. It is also used to treat breast cancer and endometrial cancer and has been used for birth control. Treatment of endometrial cancers and breast. Used as a supportive medication to treat severe loss of appetite (anorexia); muscle wasting (cachexia) and significant weight loss (> 10% of baseline body weight) associated with cancer and/or AIDS.
Sleep problems, fever, gas, diminished sexual ability/desire, weight gain, loss of appetite, or stomach upset can occur. Women can experience changes in their menstrual cycles, including unpredictable bleeding. If any of these symptoms persist or get worse, inform your doctor right away.
Patients can normally increase their appetite within the first few weeks of beginning the drug. Weight gain, often in the form of fat, will take longer. Resistance training coupled with weight gain can lead to improved lean muscle mass. Typical period of treatment could be 12 weeks.
It is pregnane steroid and a derivative of progesterone.
Tablets and suspensions are usually taken many times a day. Concentrated suspensions are typically taken once a day. Take megestrol at about the same time per day.


  • Megestrol Acetate for the Prevention of Hot Flashes,
  • A randomized comparison of megestrol acetate (MA) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) in patients with advanced breast cancer,
  • Effect of megestrol acetate on quality of life in a dose-response trial in women with advanced breast cancer. The Cancer and Leukemia Group B.,