The manufacturer of Megace (megestrol) recommends that women not use this drug while nursing. This is because the drug does pass through human breast milk. However, it is unknown how it might affect a nursing infant. Due to the potentially serious side effects associated with this drug, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking Megace while breastfeeding.
Is Megace Safe While Breastfeeding?
Megace® (megestrol acetate) is a prescription hormone medication used to treat weight loss in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and symptoms of cancer in certain people. This medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking Megace.
More Information on Breastfeeding and Megace
Megace belongs to a group of medicines known as progestins. Like other progestins, it is a form of the female hormone progesterone.
Megace has been shown to pass through breast milk in humans, at least in small amounts. However, the medication has not been adequately studied in breastfeeding women. Therefore, it is unknown whether it would harm a nursing child.
The manufacturer of Megace recommends that it not be used in women who are breastfeeding. This is because, like most medicines, Megace is associated with potentially serious side effects. Because the drug passes through breast milk, a nursing infant could potentially experience side effects.
In addition, Megace oral suspension is approved for treating loss of appetite in people with AIDS. In general, for women in developed countries, it is usually recommended that women with AIDS not breastfeed, as the virus that causes AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV) can be passed through breast milk.
It may be important for some women to know that Megace is unlikely to affect breast milk supply. Unlike estrogen hormones, progestins are not expected to effect the production or quality of breast milk. This is one of the reasons progestin-only birth control is the preferred hormonal birth control option in breastfeeding women.
Nilsson S, Nygren KG, Johansson ED. Megestrol acetate concentrations in plasma and milk during administration of an oral contraceptive containing 4 mg megestrol acetate to nursing women. Contraception 1977; 16 (6): 615-624.
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