What is this medication for?
Megestrol belongs to a group of medicines known as progestagens. It prevents the release of a hormone required for production of testosterone in the testicles. Megestrol also slows the growth of breast and endometrium (lining of the uterus) cancer cells by interfering with other hormones and proteins that are required for growth of the cancer cells. Megestrol is used in combination with surgery or radiation.
Megestrol is also used for the treatment of appetite loss and severe weight or muscle loss in people with cancer or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It helps these conditions by promoting the production of certain proteins that increase appetite and weight gain.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Megestrol Acetate by Teva is available as:
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose depends on the disease being treated and body size.
For breast cancer, the usual dose is 160 mg daily. This dose may be divided into 4 equal doses of 40 mg.
For cancer of the endometrium, the usual dose is 80 mg to 320 mg daily, which can be divided into 40 mg to 80 mg doses taken one to 4 times daily, or one to two 160 mg tablets daily.
For people with cancer or AIDS suffering from appetite loss, muscle wasting, or significant weight loss, the usual adult dose is 400 mg to 800 mg as a single daily dose. Patients with AIDS usually use the liquid form of this medication, which needs to be shaken well before use.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Effectiveness of megestrol acetate should not be judged until 2 months have passed following the start of therapy. Megestrol can be taken with or without food.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Megestrol should not be used by anyone who:
- is allergic to megestrol or any ingredients of the medication
- is breast-feeding
- is pregnant