July 27, 2016
Recommended Topic Related To:

Megace ES

"Managing HIV could get a lot easier with a new delivery system for anti-AIDS drugs.

Instead of daily pills, the treatment could lead to drugs that can be administered just once or twice per year.

The new delivery system, designed "...


Megace ES



Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.



  • Effects on HIV viral replication have not been determined.
  • Use with caution in patients with a history of thromboembolic disease.

Fetal Effects

Megestrol acetate may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. For animal data on fetal effects, see NonClinical Toxicology: Impairment of Fertility. There are no adequate and wellcontrolled studies in pregnant women. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking (receiving) this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Women of childbearing potential should be advised to avoid becoming pregnant.

Adrenal Insufficiency

The glucocorticoid activity of megestrol acetate oral suspension has not been fully evaluated. Clinical cases of overt Cushing's Syndrome have been reported in association with the chronic use of megestrol acetate. In addition, clinical cases of adrenal insufficiency have been observed in patients receiving or being withdrawn from chronic megestrol acetate therapy in the stressed and non-stressed state. Furthermore, adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) stimulation testing has revealed the frequent occurrence of asymptomatic pituitary-adrenal suppression in patients treated with chronic megestrol acetate therapy. Therefore, the possibility of adrenal insufficiency should be considered in any patient receiving or being withdrawn from chronic Megace® ES therapy who presents with symptoms and/or signs suggestive of hypoadrenalism (e.g., hypotension, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or weakness) in either the stressed or non-stressed state. Laboratory evaluation for adrenal insufficiency and consideration of replacement or stress doses of a rapidly acting glucocorticoid are strongly recommended in such patients. Failure to recognize inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis may result in death. Finally, in patients who are receiving or being withdrawn from chronic Megace® ES therapy, consideration should be given to the use of empiric therapy with stress doses of a rapidly acting glucocorticoid during stress or serious intercurrent illness (e.g., surgery, infection).


Clinical cases of new onset diabetes mellitus and exacerbation of pre-existing diabetes mellitus have been reported in association with the chronic use of megestrol acetate.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis And Mutagenesis And Impairment Of Fertility

Data on carcinogenesis were obtained from studies conducted in dogs, monkeys and rats treated with megestrol acetate at doses up to 0.01 to 0.1-fold the recommended clinical dose (13.3 mg/kg/day) based on body mass. No males were used in the dog and monkey studies. In female beagles, megestrol acetate (0.01, 0.1 or 0.25 mg/kg/day) administered for up to 7 years induced both benign and malignant tumors of the breast. In female monkeys, no tumors were found following 10 years of treatment with 0.01, 0.1 or 0.5 mg/kg/day megestrol acetate. Pituitary tumors were observed in female rats treated with 3.9 or 10 mg/kg/day of megestrol acetate for 2 years. The relationship of these tumors in rats and dogs to humans is unknown but should be considered in assessing the risk-to-benefit ratio when prescribing Megace® ES oral suspension and in surveillance of patients on therapy.

Megestrol acetate induced unscheduled DNA synthesis in primary cultures of human hepatocytes, but not in rat hepatocytes. Megestrol administered to mice increased the frequency of sister chromatid exchange and chromosomal aberrations in bone marrow cells after single intraperitonial doses of 16.25 and 32.50 mg/kg. Perinatal/postnatal (segment III) toxicity studies were performed in rats at doses up to 0.02 -fold the recommended clinical dose (13.3 mg/kg/day) based on body mass. In these low dose studies, the reproductive capability of male offspring of megestrol acetate-treated females was impaired. Similar results were obtained in dogs. No toxicity data are currently available on male reproduction (spermatogenesis) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category X [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. No adequate animal teratology information is available at clinically relevant doses. Pregnant rats treated with low doses of megestrol acetate (0 .0 2 -fold the recommended clinical dose) resulted in a reduction in fetal weight and number of live births, and feminization of male fetuses.

Nursing Mothers

Because of the potential for adverse effects on the newborn, nursing should be discontinued if Megace® ES oral suspension is required.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of megestrol acetate oral suspension in the treatment of anorexia, cachexia, or an unexplained significant weight loss in patients with AIDS did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 years and older to determine whether they respond differently than younger patients. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Megestrol acetate is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more

likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.

Use In Women

Megestrol acetate has had limited use in HIV infected women.

All 10 women in the clinical trials reported breakthrough bleeding. Megace® ES is a progesterone derivative, which may induce vaginal bleeding in women.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/19/2016


Megace ES - User Reviews

Megace ES User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Megace ES sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

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.

WebMD Daily

Get breaking medical news.