Megestrol is a type of drug that is
majorly used for treating cancer, especially uterus cancer. The main purpose of
using this drug is to procreate an artificial hormone that would belong to the group progesterone. This hormone
is generated by the female body and is a major controlling element of female menstrual cycle.
Indications: Women suffering from breast cancer or cancer in the
uterus are specifically prescribed Megace to fight the disease. The main objective of prescribing this drug is
to control the growth of the tumor. The medicine is usually used in conjunction with radiation therapy, surgery
and/or chemotherapy. Another reason for prescribing this drug is to
tackle weight loss problems in cancer or AIDS affected person. The drug could stimulate
the appetite and thus increase the food intake. Improved appetite renders positive results on patient’s overall
health. This drug is also used for treating the prostate cancer.
Dosage: The drug is available both in the form of tablets and
oral suspension form. The prescribed dosage of Megace is given on a daily basis for continuous months. This
helps in fight the cancer or its complication. The drug is prescribed for weight loss and the dose is around
800mg daily, with or without food. It has been noticed that if the medicine is taken without having food its
absorption rate is higher.
Contraindications: Intake of Megestrol is contraindicated under following
Anorexia (excessive food restriction associated with irrational fear of gaining weight)
Allergic or hypersensitivity to
megestrol or any of its components.
Mechanism of Action (MOA): The progesterone, a female hormone, is the major hormone
that helps in keeping the menstrual cycle in the right cycle. The drug Megestrol is a kind of synthetic
substitute of this hormone. It works similarly as the natural hormone and helps in maintaining the estrogen that
actually stimulates the cancerous cells.
Metabolism - Megestrol is constituted of 5 to 8% of Megestrol
Elimination – The urinary excretion of Megestrol (within 10 days)
falls in the range of 56.5% to 78.4%. Its fecal excretion falls in the range of 7.7% to 30.3%. The total
radioactivity recovered falls in the range of 83.1% to and 94.7%.
Toxicology – Prolonged intake of Megestrol
may increase the risk of onset of respiratory infections, lesser lymphocyte counts and higher
Interactions: Some of the drugs that are
known to interact with Megestrol include:
Side Effects: Some of the possible side
effects of Megestrol include:
Allergic reactions like difficult breathing; tightness in throat; swelling of face, tongue or lips,
hives and skin rashes
Severe and persistent headache
sleep problem (Insomnia)
Swelling or numbness in limbs
Vomiting and nausea
Shortness of breath
Weakness or fatigue