What is megestrol?
Megestrol is a man-made chemical similar to the female hormone progesterone.
Megestrol is used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss because of disease. Megestrol is also used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer and endometrial cancer.
Megestrol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Before taking megestrol, tell your doctor if you have
- diabetes or
- a history of blood clots.
You may not be able to take megestrol, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have either of the conditions listed above.
Do not take this medication if you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy. Megestrol is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that megestrol is known to cause birth defects. Megestrol may cause abnormal development of the sexual organs.
Megestrol may pass into breast milk and harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity during treatment with megestrol unless your doctor directs otherwise.
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A megestrol overdose is unlikely to threaten life. Call an emergency room or poison control center for advice.
Symptoms of a megestrol overdose are not known.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose, as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
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Stop taking megestrol and seek emergency medical attention or call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- sudden severe headache;
- changes in vision; or
- numbness or swelling in an arm or leg.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Notify your doctor if you experience
- nausea or vomiting,
- mild shortness of breath;
- menstrual bleeding,
- hot flashes or sweating,
- decreased sex drive, or
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking megestrol, tell your doctor if you are taking insulin or an oral diabetes medicine such as glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase, Glynase), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), tolazamide (Tolinase), or tolbutamide (Orinase). Megestrol may decrease the effects of these medications, and your blood sugar level may increase. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar and talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual changes.
Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with megestrol. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
Megace, Megace ES, and megestrol
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