Information about Megestrol

Megestrol Uses

Megestrol is used in breast cancer and endometrial cancer. It specifically helps treat breast and endometrial cancer that are hormone dependent. It may also be used for treating low appetite and weight loss in patients with advanced cancer or HIV.

How Megestrol works

Megestrol is a progestin (female hormone). It works in patients with breast cancer and endometrial cancer by affecting female hormones involved in cancer growth. It causes weight gain by increasing appetite.

Common side effects of Megestrol

Weight gain, Constipation, Edema (swelling), Breathlessness, Insomnia (difficulty in sleeping), Weakness, Impotence, Chest pain, Diarrhea, Nausea, Vomiting, Headache, Rash, Pain, Pneumonia, Fever, Anemia (low number of red blood cells), Abdominal pain, Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), Dryness in mouth, Hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), Decreased white blood cell count (lymphocytes), Increased lactate level in blood, Paresthesia (tingling or pricking sensation), Confusion, Convulsion, Hair loss, Lazy eye, Breast enlargement in male, Urinary tract infection

Severe side effects of Megestrol

Cushing syndrome, Thrombophlebitis, Pulmonary embolism, Tumor flare
Written By
Reviewed By
MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
Last updated
29 Sep 2022 | 02:30 PM (UTC)

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Available Medicine for Megestrol

EndaceSamarth Life Sciences Pvt Ltd
311 to ₹10952 variant(s)
MegeetronAlkem Laboratories Ltd
225 to ₹8102 variant(s)
MegahenzAlniche Life Sciences Pvt Ltd
273 to ₹8102 variant(s)
MegetraGetwell Oncology Pvt Ltd
250 to ₹7502 variant(s)
NeostrolNeon Laboratories Ltd
8011 variant(s)
MegestrilCaresbridge Pharmaceuticals
10251 variant(s)
CachexiamRadiant Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
7501 variant(s)
CelstrolCelon Laboratories Ltd
8001 variant(s)
SargestSarcoma Remedies Pvt Ltd
6201 variant(s)
CaxfilaAdley Formulations
10251 variant(s)

Expert advice for Megestrol

  • Megestrol is used to treat women with certain hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer and endometrial cancer.
  • It may also be used for treating appetite and weight loss in people with advanced cancer or AIDS.
  • You may have to take it for atleast 2 months before you notice any changes in your appetite.
  • Your doctor might do regular blood tests to check your hormones and blood sugar levels while you are taking this medicine.
  • Do not take Megestrol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Inform your doctor immediately if you notice unexplained swelling and pain in your limbs, shortness of breath, chest pain, severe headache, or changes in vision. These could be symptoms of a blood clot in a vein.
  • Do not stop taking the medicine suddenly without talking to your doctor first.

Frequently asked questions for Megestrol


Q. Does Megestrol make you gain weight?

Yes, Megestrol may cause weight gain as a very common side effect. Weight gain could be due to an increase in appetite which leads to an overall increase in fat and body cell mass. Consult your doctor if you experience excessive weight gain. It is commonly used to treat malnutrition, loss of appetite and severe weight loss in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, it is not intended for preventive use to avoid weight loss.

Q. When should I take Megestrol?

You can take Megestrol at any time of the day. However, you should take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Swallow it whole with a glass of water. It can be taken with or without food, preferably at the same time each day since this helps you to remember taking it. Check with your doctor if you are not sure.

Q. Does Megestrol stop periods?

No, Megestrol does not stop periods. However, it may interfere with your normal menstrual cycle. It may cause break-through bleeding and therefore has limited use in HIV infected women. Consult your doctor in case you experience breakthrough bleeding during the treatment with Megestrol.

Q. Is Megestrol a chemo medicine?

No, Megestrol is not a chemo medicine. It is a man-made version of the progesterone hormone. It is helpful in the treatment of breast cancer and endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus). It works by modifying the female hormones involved in cancer growth.

Q. Is Megestrol acetate safe to be taken during pregnancy?

No, you should not take Megestrol if you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy. However, if you become pregnant while taking Megestrol, immediately contact your doctor as Megestrol may cause harm to your unborn baby. It is important to inform the doctor because it may cause abnormalities of sex organs in male and female babies if it is taken during first 3 months of pregnancy. Usually, the doctor may suggest a pregnancy test before starting your treatment with Megestrol.

Q. Does Megestrol prevent pregnancy?

No, Megestrol does not prevent pregnancy. It may disrupt your normal menstrual cycle but does not prevent pregnancy. Hence, you should use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Check with your doctor in case you are not sure or have any doubts.

Q. What is Megestrol? What is it used for?

Megestrol contains Megestrol, which is similar to the naturally produced hormone progesterone. The medicine is used in treatment hormone-dependent cancers of breast and endometrium (lining of the uterus). It may also be used to promote appetite and weight gain in AIDS patients.

Q. Does Megestrol need to be refrigerated?

No, there is no need to refrigerate Megestrol. However, this medicine should not be stored above 25°C. It should be stored in original packaging to protect from moisture.

Q. Is Megestrol used for hot flashes?

Use of Megestrol in hot flashes is not approved. Always consult your doctor before using Megestrol. Usually, estrogen in women and androgen in men are used for the treatment of hot flashes but these hormones cannot be used in females with breast cancer and males with prostate cancer.


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