Megestrol

Megestrol helps to increase appetite in patients with certain conditions, who have lost weight, to help them gain weight. If you are taking the liquid form, make sure to shake well before use.

Megestrol Overview

Updated: 

Megestrol is a prescription medication used to relieve the symptoms of advanced breast cancer or endometrial cancer. It is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with AIDS. 

Megestrol belongs to a group of drugs called progestins. It is unknown exactly how megestrol works, but it is thought to change the activity of female hormones that are involved in cancer growth. It promotes weight gain by increasing appetite.

This medication comes in tablet, liquid suspension, and concentrated suspension forms to be taken by mouth.

The tablets and suspension are usually taken several times a day. The concentrated suspension is usually taken once a day.

Common side effects of megestrol include gas, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and impotence (the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual activity).

Patient Ratings for Megestrol

How was your experience with Megestrol?

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What are you taking Megestrol for?

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  • Other
  • Anorexia
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Cachexia
  • Endometrial Neoplasms

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
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Uses of Megestrol

Megestrol is a prescription medication used to relieve the symptoms of advanced breast cancer or endometrial cancer (cancer in the lining of the uterus). It is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Megestrol Brand Names

Megestrol may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Megestrol Drug Class

Megestrol is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Megestrol

Serious side effects have been reported with megestrol. See the "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects of megestrol include the following:

  • impotence (the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual activity)
  • insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep)
  • gas
  • decreased sexual desire
  • rash
  • dyspepsia (indigestion)

This is not a complete list of megestrol side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor is you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.