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What does it do?

Megestrol contains the steroid hormone progestogen. It is used to treat breast cancer and endometrial cancer, and sometimes other conditions.

How should you take it?

Take megestrol regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Symptoms of a blood clot including: sudden shortness of breath, swelling or pain in one leg

Tell your doctor immediately

Mood changes

Short of breath

Tiredness or weakness

Hot flushing, sweating

Hair loss or thinning

Numb or tingling fingers

Weight gain, swollen feet or legs

Less interest in sex, impotence, vaginal bleeding

Stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, or if you have ever had a blood clot.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Long term use of steroids may be associated with a range of side effects such as: round face, change in body shape, change in hair growth, thinning of the bones, increased blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Do not stop taking megestrol suddenly without talking to your doctor first. Your doctor may reduce the dose gradually.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. December 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed