In general, Megace (megestrol) is only given to a pregnant woman if the benefits to the mother clearly outweigh the potential risks to her unborn child. During animal studies, Megace appeared to cause miscarriages, low fetal weights, and other problems. Due to these potential risks, women of childbearing potential should use an effective form of birth control during treatment.
Can I Take Megace When Pregnant?
Megace® (megestrol acetate) is a prescription medication that comes in the form of an oral suspension and tablets. The suspension is approved to treat loss of appetite and significant weight loss in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The tablets are approved to treat the symptoms of breast and endometrial cancer. Megace tablets have been discontinued by the manufacturer; however, they are still available in generic form.
Megace may harm an unborn child if taken during pregnancy. The suspension is considered a pregnancy Category X medication, and the tablets are considered a pregnancy Category D medicine.
What Is Pregnancy Category X?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category X is given to medicines that show problems to the fetus in animal studies or in human use of the medication. With this category, the potential risks clearly outweigh the potential benefits.
When given to pregnant rats in low doses, the medication impaired the ability of male offspring to reproduce, reduced fetal body weight, and increased the risk for miscarriage. The manufacturer of Megace suspension recommends this medicine not be used in pregnant women, as the risks outweigh any potential benefits.
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