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Megace or generic Megestrol is a synthetic or man-made chemical that is similar to the female hormone called progesterone that may be prescribed to treat advanced endometrial and breast cancer that is hormone dependant. You may be recommended to take Megace as a single treatment or taken with other cancer treatments, including surgery and radiation. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
The idea of taking Megace is to over-power the effects of estrogen by raising progesterone levels. It has been found that estrogen binds to estrogen receptors on cancer cells that ultimately results in the cancer cells growing more rapidly. Megace interferes with the stimulation of cell growth in tumor cells that are ‘estrogen dependant’. With less available estrogen, the cancer cell population is reduced as they are rendered unable to grow or replicate.
Although rare, men can also get breast cancer. It’s believed that Megace works the same as it does for women, but in the case of men, Megace may be taken to interfere with testosterone as a way to slow down or stop the cancer cells from growing and dividing.
Those dealing with the stress and depression that can befall patient dealing with cancer, HIV, AIDS, or end-stage renal disease, may become less interested in meal-times and find they are starting to lose weight and their muscles have started to waste away. Megace has shown to be helpful for boosting your appetite and regaining your strength. Results may be slow to appear, so be patient.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breast feeding before taking Megace because it can be harmful. Inform your doctor if you have a history of stroke, an adrenal gland disorder, or are diabetic, and provide a current list of any OTC or Rx drugs you are taking, including vitamins and other supplements that could interact negatively with Megace.
Megace can cause abnormal blood clots in blood vessels. This risk may be increased during periods of immobilization and following surgery. Until you know how your body will react to Megace (Megestrol), do not participate in any activities that require you to be alert. Keep all medications out of children’s reach and never share with anyone.
You should consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms during treatment with Megace: stabbing pains and/or unusual swelling in one leg, pain on breathing or coughing, coughing up blood, sudden breathlessness, sudden numbness affecting one side or part of the body, sudden or severe headache, fainting or sudden severe chest pain.