Available in the form of a tablet or oral suspension, megestrol is prescribed for use in people who have AIDS, breast cancer, or endometrial cancer. This hormone therapy may help relieve the symptoms of certain cancers and can also help stimulate appetite and weight gain in people with AIDS. The oral suspension is usually taken once daily, while the tablets are taken several times daily.
What Is Megestrol?
Megestrol acetate (Megace®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of medicines known as progestins. The oral suspension is approved to treat appetite loss, muscle wasting, and significant weight loss in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The tablets are approved to relieve the symptoms of advanced breast and endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
Brand-name megestrol tablets have been discontinued by the manufacturer and are no longer available in the United States. However, generic versions of the tablets are still available.
Megestrol is also available in an extra-strength form: megestrol ES (Megace® ES). Extra-strength megestrol comes as a liquid suspension. It contains more of the active ingredient (megestrol acetate) per mL than regular megestrol.
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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