Megace ES Side Effects

Although it can be difficult to predict if you will develop side effects while taking Megace ES, clinical studies have shown that diarrhea, headaches, and insomnia are some of the most commonly reported reactions to this medication. These studies also showed that while most side effects were generally minor, potentially serious problems like chest pain and vision changes could also occur.

An Introduction to Megace ES Side Effects

As with any medicine, Megace® ES (megestrol ES) 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 ES. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects of Megace ES

Megestrol, the active ingredient in Megace ES, has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people given megestrol were documented and compared to the side effects that occurred in a similar group of people given a similar medication that did not contain any active ingredients (a placebo). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo.
In these studies, the most common megestrol side effects included:
  • Diarrhea -- in up to 15 percent of people
  • An inability to get or maintain an erection, also known as impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED) -- up to 14 percent
  • Rash -- up to 12 percent
  • Gas -- up to 10 percent
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) -- up to 10 percent
  • Headache -- up to 10 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 6 percent
  • Weakness or lack of energy -- up to 6 percent
  • Fever -- up to 6 percent
  • Increase in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) -- up to 6 percent
  • Pain -- up to 6 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 6 percent.
In addition, women may experience spotting between periods. The exact percentage of women who experienced this side effect in clinical trials was not reported in the Megace ES prescribing information.
Other common side effects, occurring in 1 percent to 5 percent of people, included but were not limited to:
  • Nausea
  • Anemia (low red blood cells)
  • A decrease in sexual desire (decreased libido)
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • 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
  • 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.

Megace ES Drug Information

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