Megestrol Acetate For Weight Gain Right The Way

How Megestrol Acetate can be beneficial for weight gain

If you’re trying gain weight maybe because you’d want to have a leaner body.
Some medication combined with balanced diet and proper exercise might give you the result you want.

Maybe sometimes you might think, no matter how much you eat, or how hard you exercise.

It may seem like you still don’t gain enough weight to achieve a leaner body especially if you’re an ectomorph.

To solve this problem, some medications specialized for weight gain such as Megestrol Acetate (MA) can be your best option.

In this post, I will share the basic to intricate information about the Megestrol Acetate for weight gain.

What is Megestrol Acetate?

man lean body

First of all, let’s define what exactly is Megestrol Acetate?

Megestrol is a type of man-made version of progesterone hormone treatment.

The progesterone is commonly produced in female hormones as well as male (but only produces a small amount it).

This medication offers beneficial effect especially on weight gain for patients with cancer such as womb and breast cancer primarily because, during cancer treatments, patients tend to lose weight.

The Megestrol is liquid or suspension form comes with a white.

Crystalline solid with a chemical formula of C24H3204.

It contains inactive ingredients such as 0.06% of alcohol, citric acid monohydrate, artificial lime flavor, docusate sodium, xanthan gum, and sodium citrate dihydrate, sodium benzoate, glycerine, natural and artificial lemon flavor and purified water.

When to use Megestrol Acetate?

Megace or Megase is the megestrol’s prescription brand name.
It is commonly used to treat advanced cancers such as endometrial and breast cancer.

It is also known for treating weight loss in some pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis, HIV/AIDS, Malignancies as well as patients with kidney diseases.

 

How does it work?

Megace is used to interfere with the hormonal balance in the body and shrink the number of hormones where the cancer cells depend to grow.

It also stops the cancerous cells from growing by interacting with other hormones and directly targeting cancer.

Megestrol is a type of hormone therapy.

These are the chemicals substance usually produced by different glands in the body and enters through the bloodstream and cause effects in other tissues.

For example, a hormone called testosterone is often found in men and responsible for the features such as increased body hair, and deepening voice.

The hormone therapy is used for treating cancer by stopping the growth of the cancer cells.

It works by stopping hormone production by blocking the receptors and replacing the chemically similar hormonal active substances that are also used by some tumor cells growth.

How to use this medication?

appetite

Megestrol acetate is a type of progestational agent that can have a significant effect on the appetite.

It was first used as a contraceptive agent and eventually becomes the anorexigenic agent that can lead to weight gain.

The study has been shown that patients with HIV/AIDs and Cancers have a substantial increase in body weight and appetite.  

Megestrol can come as a suspension (liquid), concentrated suspension and tablet to take by mouth.

The standard dosage for suspension and tablet Megestrol are usually taken several times a day.
While the concentrated suspension is taken once a day.

It is advisable to take the Megestrol at around the same time every day.
Always read the label carefully and follow the directions, and take this medication exactly as directed.

The amount of dosage that you will receive will depend on the different factors such as height, weight, general or other health problems, medication history, and the type of cancer or any condition you have.

Overdosing might cause side effects that can contribute to the severity of the disease.
Your doctor will determine your schedule and dose.

In order to make sure that the Megestrol acetate in suspension form is mixed evenly.
Shake the bottle before each time you use it.

Concentrate suspension and regular suspension Megestrol may come with different dosages.
Always talk to your doctor before switching to another as well as deciding to stop this medication.

When to contact a medical professional?

If you experience any symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, and sudden severe headache contact your doctor or any health care provider immediately.

Other unusual symptoms may include swelling of the face, lips, or mouth, redness, swelling and pain in one leg or arm and not the other.
Pain in the abdominal part, and vaginal irritation, discharge of itching.

What are the other uses of Megestrol Acetate?

As mentioned earlier.

Megestrol acetate provides a beneficial effect in the paediatric patients with prostatic hypertrophy or the enlargement of the male reproductive organ or the prostate, endometriosis where the tissues usually found in the uterus grows in the other areas of the body, overgrowth of the line of the uterus or endometrial hyperplasia, and certain cancers in the breast or womb.

Always consult your doctor before taking this medication to avoid any risk that can cause the severity of your condition.  

How Does Megestrol acetate work in weight gain?

The effect of Megestrol acetate in weight gain is equal to as dexamethasone and more effective than the dronabinol for increasing appetite.

The weight gain effect happens and provides an increased number of fatty tissues rather than lean muscles.

Weight gain while taking this medication is not caused by fluid retention.

In one study conducted in cancer patients, 20 – 30% have a positive response and 5% of weight gain after 6-8 weeks of treatment.

The increase in appetite can have impact improve palliative effect but during the end-stage of cancer treatment there might be no other benefit can occur.

However, it is important to consider whether an increase of fat as opposed to muscle tissue has any benefits in treating cancer or any chronic disorders is not clear and needs further research.

Here are some Megace to help you familiarize with the medication:

Megestrol acetate 40 mg-BAR Tablet

Megestrol acetate 20 mg-ROX Tablet

Megestrol acetate 40 mg-PAR Tablet

Megestrol acetate 20 mg-BAR Tablet

Megestrol acetate 400 mg/10 ml liquid suspension

What are the precautions and Self-care tips when using this medication?

self care

  • Before taking Megestrol consult your doctor and other medical professional if you’re allergic to Megestrol, foods, any inactive ingredients in Megestrol concentrated suspension, tablets, and suspension.

    Or any other medications (including prescriptions, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).
    And other allergy symptoms and signs such as itching, shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, swelling of the face, lip, tongue, or throat, rash, hives, sudden breathlessness or any other signs.


    It is always better to consult your doctor to know the list of the inactive ingredient to prevent any side effects.
  • Always consult your doctor what non-prescription and prescription medications, nutritional supplements, herbal products, or any vitamins you’re planning to take.

    It is advisable to mention indinavir or antibiotics to your doctor.

    This will help them to adjust the doses of your medication and monitor your condition carefully for any risks of side effects as well.
  • If you have a history or current diseases such as stroke, diabetes, blood clot formation anywhere in the body, kidney disease, liver complications, or any severe health problems.

    And also if you’re having a surgery such as dental surgery during or shortly after your treatment.


    Always tell your doctor about it.
  • If you’re planning to become pregnant, currently pregnant or breastfeeding.

    You need to consult your doctor first before taking Megestrol.


    Megestrol may put the fetus at risk that can lead to birth defects.

    It is advisable to avoid breastfeeding while taking this medication.
  • Always remember that medication of Megestrol may affect your normal menstrual cycle or period for women.

    But the chances of pregnancy might still occur.


    To avoid unwanted pregnancy, use a reliable method of birth control.
  • It is recommended to drink at least 2-3 quarts of water or any fluids every 24 hours unless you are instructed otherwise and get plenty of rest.
  • Maintain proper and balanced diet and use caution when driving or engaging in a task that requires alertness until response to the drug is known.
  • Don’t expose yourself to the sun too much and wear protective clothing and apply SPF 15 or higher if you do so.
  • Discuss any symptoms or side effects to your medical or health provider immediately.

    In this way, they can prescribe medications and give you other suggestions that can be effective and beneficial to your condition.

What do I do if I miss a dosage?

Always take the missed dose as soon as you think about it.

However, if you’re close to the of your next dosage.

You can skip the next dose and return to your normal dosing time and do not take 2 or more extra doses at the same time.

For standard and specific dosage:

 

  • Megestrol tablets used in palliative treatment for advanced breast cancer:

    160 mg/day or 40 mg of oral Megestrol tablets 4x a day.
  • Megestrol tablets used in treatment for Cachexia:

    800 mg/day for Megestrol oral suspension and 625 mg/5ml of concentrated formula alternatively.
  • Megestrol tablets used in the palliative treatment of advanced endometrial cancer:

    40 – 320 mg/day of Megestrol tablets in divided doses.
  • Megestrol tablets used in treatment for Anorexia:

    800 mg per day for Megestrol oral suspension and 625 mg/5ml of concentrated formula alternatively.
  • Megestrol tablets used in treatment for weight loss in patients with AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome):

    800 mg per day for Megestrol oral suspension and 625 mg/5ml of concentrated formula alternatively.
  • Megestrol tablets used in treatment for Abnormal Uterine Bleeding:

    5-10 mg of dosage per day continuously for 5 – 10 days.

What if I overdose?

If overdose is suspected, call your poison control center or immediately get medical attention.

Tell or show the team what was taken, when it happened, and how much.

What are the side effects of this medication?

 

Common Side effects

The study showed that each of these common side effects listed below happens in 10% or more than 1 in 10 people.

If any of these unusual problems while you’re taking Megestrol acetate, always contact your doctor or any medical professional.

Weight gain and Increased Appetite

This might not be considered as harmful side effects but it can be beneficial for cancer or HIV/AIDS patient to retain lost weight during the treatment.

However, your appetite will have the tendency to go back to normal once the medication has been stopped.

Megestrol acetate will make you feel hungrier and it can it difficult for you to keep your weight down.

To safely control your weight, it is a good idea to talk to your dietician or nurse.

Swollen or moon face

If you ever find that your face becomes more rounded like the shape of the moon, consult your doctor immediately.

Fluid build-up may also cause swelling of the ankle and finger.

Sweats and Hot flushes

The symptoms of hot flushes include reddening of the skin, sweating, palpitations or fast heartbeat, feeling irritable, panicky, or anxious.

To reduce these symptoms, avoid drinking coffee, nicotine, tea.

Or any caffeine-based beverages, lessen or cut down alcohol, drink iced or cold drinks.

If you get too hot, wear layers of light clothing so you can easily take the clothes off.

Have layers of bedclothes, and wear silk, cotton, or any natural fiber clothes instead of man-made fabrics.

Constipation

It is advisable to drink plenty of water and add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet and try to take a light exercise such as walking as well.

It is much easier to sort it out if you treat it early.

If you’re constipated for more than 3 days consult your doctor and they might prescribe a laxative.

High blood pressure or hypertension

Some symptoms include shortness of breath, blurred or double vision, headaches, or nosebleeds.

If any of these symptoms happen to you, immediately call your nurse regularly to check your blood pressure.

Risk of Blood Clots

Thrombosis or the risk of blood clots may increase if you’re taking Megestrol acetate,

If you have any history of blood clots, let your doctors know.

Swelling, pain, or redness in the leg, chest pain, coughing up blood.

Or sudden breathlessness might be the other symptoms to look for.

Thromboembolic Phenomena

Some cases of Thromboembolic phenomena have been reported such as pulmonary embolism and thrombophlebitis.

High level of blood sugar

Raised blood sugar can lead to diabetes, so to check this.

Call your doctor or any medical professional for regular blood and urine tests if you always feel thirsty or need to pass urine a lot.

However, if you are currently suffering from diabetes.

You need to check your blood sugar level more often than the regular session.

Other Uncommon Side effects

This drug can also cause side effects such as nausea, edema, vomiting, dyspnea, hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, alopecia, malaise, asthenia, and lethargy.

Occasional Side effects

woman sick

The study showed that each of these occasional side effects listed below happens in 1% or more than 1 in 100 people.

If any of these unusual problems while you’re taking Megestrol acetate, always contact your doctor or any medical professional.

Sickness and headaches

If you feel sick, always tell your doctor.

They can prescribe anti-sickness tablets that can control it.

Mild sickness usually happens during your first Megestrol acetate dosage.

If you have headaches, doctors will prescribe you paracetamol or any mild painkiller.

Vaginal Bleeding and halted menstrual cycle

If you notice blood coming out of the vagina while using this medication.
It might not be a part of the cycle.

Amenorrhoea or the condition where women might stop having periods may also occur temporarily.

Skin Rash and other Allergic reaction

Your doctor might prescribe you medicine to stop the itching caused by skin rash and it may soothe your skin.

Other symptoms may also include such as itching, feeling hot, shivering, face redness, dizziness, anxiety, and shortness of breath.

Always tell your doctor or nurse about it.

Erection Problems

While on this treatment, men might lose the ability to have an erection.

So it’s better to ask for your doctor’s advice to treat this.

Fatigue

During the treatment, you might feel tired, weak, and lacks in energy.

It may also cause you to sleep for a short time during the day sometimes.

It is advisable to rest if you need to.

However, the tiredness will get better once you finished the treatment for several months or even years.

To cope up with tiredness, try to take gentle exercise such as walking followed by enough rest.

This will give you more energy.

Diarrhea

This drug might cause mild diarrhea.

To treat this, consult your doctor if it gets severe or lasts for more than three days.

They might prescribe you medicines to control it.

Thinning of the hair

Hair thinning can be upsetting to other people.

Using this medication might cause your hair to thin but a few weeks after you finished the medications.

Your hair should start to go back to normal and thicken up again as well.

To avoid hair thinning, always use a gentle hair product especially baby shampoo.

Never use perms or hair color during the medication, use gentle hairbrush and comb.

Don’t rub your hair instead pat it gently, and avoid using curlers, curling tongs, or hair dryers.

Heart Problems and pain

Taking this drug may cause slight changes in your heart that can increase the risk of heart attack.

Always consult your doctor for regular heart tests.

Mood Changes

This is uncommon, but using this medication may cause your mood changes.

If you have this ask for your nurse or doctor’s advice.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

CTS or carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the pain in your hands that may cause weak grip or numbness and tingling.

If you have this always tell your doctor.

Increased Calcium Level

If you’re experiencing symptoms such as extreme tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, constipation, or always out of focus.

You have to consult your doctor to let them check your calcium levels by regular blood tests.

How to dispose and dispose of this medication properly?

To avoid any accidents.

It is advisable to keep the Megestrol acetate tablet or liquid suspension in the container it came in, secured and tightly closed, and out of reach of children.

Store the medication at a room temperature and not in the bathroom or any heat and moisture-prone environment.

If the medication is outdated or no longer needed.

Talk to your pharmacist about how to dispose of the medication properly.

Containers such as weekly pill minders, eye drops, patches, inhalers, or creams are not child-resistant and they might use it a play toy.

So it is very important to keep all the medication out of sight and reach of children.

Lock the safety cap and place it in a safe location to protect your young and avoid them from poisoning.

Other Information

Megestrol Acetate may interact with other medications such as warfarin, primidone, rifampin, phenytoin, indinavir, and carbamazepine.

However, do not take the medicine if you’re taking dofetilide.

Important Note:

The drugs listed above may interact differently with each person which means I can’t guarantee that the list above includes all the possible interaction.

It is still important to speak with your doctor about the possible interactions with all the prescription drugs such as herb remedies, supplements, over-the-counter drugs, and other vitamins.

Always keep all the appointments with your doctor and the lab.
They might order certain lab test and check your body’s response to this medication.

Never let anyone especially the young ones take the Megestrol acetate in any forms if you’re planning to refill your prescription.

Ask your pharmacist first.

Keep a written list of all the past and current non-prescription and prescription medicines you are taking.

That includes vitamins, minerals, or any dietary supplements.

You could use this list every time you visit your doctor in case of emergencies.

Conclusion:

Several studies showed that Megestrol can have different side effects such as weight gain.

This phenomenon or effect is still left unclear.

The effect can be taken advantage and can be beneficial for the patients with anorexia, cachexia, cancer, and AIDS.

The information I provided on this website is meant to help you and educate you about the Megestrol acetate medication.

However, this information is not a substitute for medical advice.

I strongly recommend you to talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacists.
Or any other medical professionals about your specific medical conditions, illnesses, diseases, prescription, non-prescriptions, and treatments.

In this way, you can ensure your safety and prevent the severity of your condition as well.

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