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Terms Of Use


Brand Name(s) : Megace
Side Effects


Megestrol should be used with caution in: pregnant women, those with severe liver problems, diabetes, or any history of blood clots.

It should not be used in: women who are breastfeeding.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.


Store below 25°C.


What is it used for?

  • Megestrol is used to treat certain types of cancer.
  • It is a progestogen, sometimes known as a type of hormonal therapy.
  • It is used to treat certain types of cancer known as hormone-dependent cancers, such as cancer of the breast or womb.
  • In general this drug is used to treat breast cancer, but is also used to treat cancer of the womb (endometrial cancer).
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include increased cancer survival rates.

Listed below are the typical uses of megestrol.

  • The treatment of certain hormone-dependent cancers, such as endometrial cancer (cancer of the womb) or breast cancer.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list. Such conditions are listed below.

  • Treatment of prostate cancer (rarely).


How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily, before or after a meal. Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take up to several months before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • None known. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well, unless your doctors tells you to stop.


  • Weight gain
  • Increased appetite
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of ankles and feet
  • Changes in vaginal bleeding (breakthrough bleeding or spotting)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hot flushes
  • Changes in mood
  • Increased blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Reddening of the face and neck
  • Increased growth of facial and body hair
  • Urticaria (hives or nettle rash)
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • Pain or numbness in the fingers.

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: any sign of a blood clot (e.g. sudden loss of co-ordination, sudden slurred speech, pains in the arms, groin or leg [especially in leg calf], sudden shortness of breath, weakness, numbness or pain in arm or leg, severe or sudden-onset headache, or fainting); heart problems; Cushing's syndrome (a hormone disorder, causing a characteristic round or 'moon' face).

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.


Before taking megestrol tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other progestogens; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: none known.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: severe liver problems, diabetes, or any history of blood clots.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol should not affect the use of this drug.

The elderly: megestrol can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below.


Megestrol is not safe to take if you are, or are planning to become, pregnant.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Megestrol is not safe to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.


Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • None known.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: None known.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using megestrol, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.


The effects of overdose with megestrol are not known.

People who have taken too much megestrol should seek medical advice.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of megestrol or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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