Available by prescription only, megestrol ES is an extra-strength medication used to help stimulate appetite in people with AIDS. It is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone in the body called progesterone. Clinical studies have shown that this medicine can improve appetite and cause weight gain. Possible side effects may include gas, a rash, and diarrhea.
What Is Megestrol ES?
Megestrol ES (Megace® ES) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of loss of appetite, malnutrition, and unexplained, significant weight loss in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is a synthetic (laboratory-made) derivative of the naturally occurring hormone progesterone.
Megestrol ES is an extra-strength form of the medication megestrol (Megace®) oral suspension. This means megestrol ES contains more of the active ingredient megestrol acetate per mL than megestrol oral suspension. As a result, lower doses of megestrol ES can be given to produce the same effects.
Megestrol also comes in a tablet form. The tablet form of megestrol is approved to relieve the symptoms of advanced breast and endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus). Brand-name megestrol tablets have been discontinued by the manufacturer and are no longer available in the United States. However, they are still available in generic form.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Megace ES [package insert]. Spring Valley, NY: Par Pharmaceutical, Inc.;2009 July.
Megace ES Web site. Available at: http://www.megacees.com/. Accessed April 26, 2012.
Megestrol Acetate. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2012. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 20, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 19, 2012.
Nilsson S, Nygren KG, Johansson ED. Megestrol acetate concentrations in plasma and milk during administration of an oral contraceptive containing 4 mg megestrol acetate to nursing women. Contraception 1977; 16 (6): 615-624.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed April 20, 2012.
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