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Clinical Effects of Megestrol

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). On average, the megestrol-treated group gained 4.2 to 11.2 pounds, while the placebo group lost 1.2 to 2.1 pounds.

When and How to Take This Medicine

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with megestrol include the following:
  • Megestrol comes in the form of an oral suspension and a tablet. The oral suspension is taken by mouth, usually once a day. The tablets are taken several times a day.
  • You can take this medication with or without food. Try taking it with food if it seems to bother your stomach.
  • Shake the suspension well before using to make sure it is thoroughly mixed.
  • Try to take your dose at about the same time(s) every day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
  • Megestrol oral suspension comes with a plastic dosage cup. Use this cup, or another accurately marked measuring cup, to measure your dose. Your pharmacist can give you an appropriate measuring device if you need one.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.

Dosing Information for Megestrol

The dose of megestrol your healthcare provider recommends may vary, depending on several factors, such as:
  • The particular megestrol product you are using
  • Why are you using the medicine
  • How you respond to it.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Megestrol Dosage for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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