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Megestrol is used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with AIDS. Improving your appetite and gaining weight may help you feel better and be more active.
Megestrol is similar to a natural substance made by the body called progesterone.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
This medication is a high-strength concentrated liquid product. Do not switch between different liquid forms of megestrol because you may not get the correct dose.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should handle this medication carefully. Wash your skin well right away if megestrol gets on your skin.
It may take up to several weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
Tell your doctor if you do not get better or if you get worse.
Trouble sleeping, fever, gas, decreased sexual ability/desire, or upset stomach may occur. Women may have changes in their menstrual periods, such as unpredictable bleeding. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fast/pounding heartbeat, fatigue, headache, swelling of the hands/feet.
This medication may rarely make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: symptoms of a blood clot (such as chest pain, trouble breathing, pain/redness/swelling of arms or legs), confusion, mental/mood changes, weakness/numbness on one side of the body, trouble speaking, vision changes.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking megestrol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: adrenal gland problems (such as Cushing's syndrome), blood clots, diabetes, heart disease (such as congestive heart failure), high blood pressure, kidney disease, stomach or abdominal problems, unusual vaginal bleeding.
If you have diabetes, this product may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar (see Side Effects section). Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Using megestrol for a long time may make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have recently stopped taking it. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual/extreme tiredness, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially the risk for blood clots.
This medication must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Your doctor should order a pregnancy test before you start this medication. Discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control (such as condoms, birth control pills) with your doctor. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding. If you have HIV, do not breast-feed because breast milk can transmit HIV.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is: dofetilide.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood pressure readings, blood sugar) may be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
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