Megestrol acetate (Megace®) oral suspension is used as an appetite stimulant to help cause weight gain in adults who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This formula is specifically designed for use in people with AIDS who experience weight loss, muscle wasting, and malnutrition.
In clinical studies, megestrol was shown to cause weight gain in people with AIDS who had lost their appetite and were experiencing malnutrition and significant weight loss. In these studies, up to 64 percent of people given the drug gained five or more pounds over 12 weeks, compared with 24 percent of people given a similar product that did not contain any active ingredients (a placebo).
(For a closer look at this medicine, click Megestrol. This full-length article offers a complete overview of megestrol, including how it can stimulate appetite, when and how to take it, and possible side effects.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Megestrol Acetate. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2012. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 20, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 19, 2012.
Nilsson S, Nygren KG, Johansson ED. Megestrol acetate concentrations in plasma and milk during administration of an oral contraceptive containing 4 mg megestrol acetate to nursing women. Contraception 1977; 16 (6): 615-624.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed April 20, 2012.
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