Megace ES Uses
Adults who have AIDS may receive the prescription drug Megace ES. Clinical studies have shown that this medicine can stimulate appetite and cause weight gain in people who have experienced weight loss caused by AIDS. There may also be times when a healthcare provider may prescribe Megace ES for off-label (unapproved) uses, such as in the treatment of hot flashes in men with prostate cancer.
What Is Megace ES Used For?Megace® ES (megestrol ES) is a prescription medication approved to treat appetite loss, severe malnutrition, or an unexplained and significant weight loss in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is a hormone medication similar to progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone in the body.
Megace ES is an extra-strength form of Megace® (megestrol). Megace and Megace ES come in the form of a liquid suspension that is taken by mouth. Megestrol tablets are also available and are approved to relieve the symptoms of advanced forms of breast cancer or endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus).
AIDS is a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An infection with HIV weakens the body's immune system. This is because HIV attacks immune cells that normally defend the body against illnesses.
HIV mostly infects T helper cells, also known as CD4+ T cells (or just CD4 cells). As the disease progresses, more and more CD4+ T cells are damaged by HIV. The term AIDS applies to the most advanced stages of HIV infection, when CD4+ T cell levels are severely reduced.
When the immune system is weakened, the body is more susceptible to "opportunistic infections." Opportunistic infections are infections that would usually not make a healthy person sick.
People with AIDS may experience severe appetite loss, known medically as anorexia. AIDS-related anorexia can lead to unintended weight loss, loss of muscle mass, and severe malnutrition, which further increases the risk for opportunistic infections. Megace ES is used to stimulate appetite in people with AIDS. By stimulating the appetite, Megace ES can help people eat more and gain weight.
It should be noted that AIDS-related anorexia is different from anorexia nervosa, the well-known eating disorder.