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Megace Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Megace, Megace ES

Generic Name: megestrol (Pronunciation: meh JESS trol)

What is megestrol (Megace)?

Megestrol is a man-made chemical similar to the female hormone progesterone.

Megestrol is used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Megestrol is also used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer and endometrial cancer.

Megestrol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Megesterol 40 mg-BAR

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Megestrol 20 mg-BAR

round, white, imprinted with 555 606, b

Megestrol 20 mg-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 54 763

Megestrol 40 mg-PAR

round, white, imprinted with par 290

Megestrol 40 mg-ROX

round, white, imprinted with 54 352

What are the possible side effects of megestrol (Megace)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
  • nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, or feeling like you might pass out;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • chest pain, sudden cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fast heart rate; or
  • high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach;
  • vaginal bleeding;
  • mild skin rash;
  • weakness,
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • decreased interest in sex, impotence, trouble having an orgasm.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Megace (megestrol acetate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about megestrol (Megace)?

Megestrol can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use megestrol if you are pregnant.

Before you take megestrol, tell your doctor if you have diabetes or a history of stroke or blood clot.

Your dosage needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, are under stress, or have an infection. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

Megace ES contains a higher concentration of megestrol than Megace. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.

Side Effects Centers

Additional Megace Information

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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