Megestrol is used to treat breast or womb cancer. This medicine helps improve the quality of life of patients with cancer.
Megestrol may also be used to treat anorexia (loss of appetite), cachexia (weakness or wasting of the body due to severe chronic disease), or sudden unexplained weight loss in patients with cancer or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Megestrol exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about whether you should take this medicine with or without food. Different brands of this medicine may be taken differently. Try to take it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as a tablet or oral suspension.
If you are taking the tablet, swallow it with a glass of water.
If you are taking an oral suspension, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
Megestrol must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Megestrol if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Megestrol may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- blood clot disorders
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Megestrol to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Do not switch between different brands unless advised by your doctor.
For as long as you are taking Megestrol, your blood pressure, glucose level, weight or any signs of blood clot must be monitored regularly to check your body's response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Megestrol may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, stomach wind, weight gain, weakness, increased appetite, rash, hair loss, irregular menstruation, and hot flushes.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- shortness of breath and chest pain
- pain, swelling and tenderness in your leg accompanied by redness and warmth
- sudden thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. indinavir
- blood-thinning medicine
- medicine for diabetes
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Megestrol.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements, and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As Megestrol is a cancer medicine, always return any unused medicine to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.