Megace Side Effects

Even though many people taking Megace will tolerate the medicine well, let your healthcare provider know right away if you develop vision changes, sudden chest pain, or other potentially serious reactions while taking it. Studies have shown that some of the most commonly reported problems include diarrhea, headaches, and a lack of energy.

An Introduction to Megace Side Effects

Just like any medicine, Megace® (megestrol acetate) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Megace. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects of Megace

Megace has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given the drug were documented and (in some studies) compared to those that occurred in a similar group of people given a placebo (a medication that does not contain any active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo.
In Megace oral suspension studies, the most common side effects included:
  • Diarrhea -- in up to 15 percent of people
  • Impotence (erectile dysfunction, or ED) -- up to 14 percent
  • Rash -- up to 12 percent
  • Headache -- up to 10 percent
  • Gas -- up to 10 percent
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) -- up to 8 percent
  • Weakness or lack of energy -- up to 6 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 6 percent
  • High blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) -- up to 6 percent
  • Pain -- up to 6 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 6 percent
  • Fever -- up to 6 percent.
Other common reactions, occurring in 2 percent to 5 percent of people, included:
  • Nausea
  • Anemia (low red blood cells -- found using a blood test)
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Pneumonia
  • Increased urination
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Chest pain
  • Infection of any kind
  • Yeast infection
  • A pounding or racing heartbeat
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • An increase in saliva
  • Decrease in white blood cells (found using a blood test)
  • Swelling of the body, especially the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
  • Tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of the skin
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Abnormal thinking
  • Seizure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Hair loss
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Lazy eye (known medically as amblyopia)
  • Enlarged breasts in men
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Abnormal amounts of albumin (a protein found in the body) in the urine.
The tablet form of Megace is an older medication. Like other older medications, the prescribing information includes only vague information on possible side effects, with no exact percentages. Therefore, it can be difficult to know exactly how common the side effects may be.
Megace tablets can be expected to have the same side effects as the oral suspension. In addition to the side effects listed earlier, Megace tablets may cause reactions such as:
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, ankles, or feet
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Hot flashes
  • General feelings of discomfort or illness
  • Sweating
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • A temporary worsening of cancer symptoms.
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Megace Medication Information

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