AIDS Home > Megace Warnings and Precautions

People who plan to use Megace should know that this drug may increase the risk for dangerous complications, including Cushing's syndrome, adrenal insufficiency, blood clots, and other medical issues. In addition, safety precautions for taking Megace include warnings for women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as those who are taking certain medications.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Megace® (megestrol acetate) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Megace

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
  • Megace oral suspension is approved to treat loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss; it should not be used to prevent weight loss from occurring. Your healthcare provider will look for a medical reason for your weight loss, such as infection, certain cancers, or problems absorbing nutrients, and treat the condition before starting treatment.
  • There have been reports of people developing Cushing's syndrome after taking this medication for extended periods. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop signs of Cushing's syndrome, such as:
    • Weight gain in your midsection or upper back
    • A rounder face than usual
    • Weakness
    • Tiredness
    • High blood pressure
    • Unexplained bruising.
  • People who take Megace for long periods of time may develop adrenal insufficiency (when the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones) during treatment, or while stopping treatment. Adrenal insufficiency can make it harder for you to respond to stress, such as injury, illness, or surgery. Let your healthcare provider know if you become ill, plan to have surgery, or develop signs of adrenal insufficiency, such as:
  • It is not known whether Megace has effects on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral replication.
  • This medication may increase the risk for developing blood clots, and should be used with caution in people who have had blood clots in the past.
  • Megace can increase blood sugar levels, which could cause or worsen diabetes. If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider may recommend that you test your blood sugar levels more frequently. The dose of your diabetes medications may need adjusted.
  • Megace passes through breast milk. Therefore, check with your healthcare provider before taking Megace while breastfeeding (see Megace and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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