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 Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
Has anyone had any experience with the use of Megace (generic is megestrol) for appetite stimulation?

My mother has lost a significant amount of weight and the SNF is proposing this drug because they cannot get her to eat enough or take enough dietary supplements to maintain her weight. (She is not having swallowing problems so that is not the issue.)

Of course, I am always concerned about side effects or LBD reactions to new medications.

Thanks,

Julianne


Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
This medication is sometimes used in Parkinson's Disease. You could check rxlist.com to see what the possible side effects are. I'm aware of anything major. I think only one person over the years has mentioned this medication here. (You could do a search, if you haven't already.)

Perhaps the lack of interest in eating is part of the dying process?


Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:37 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
I did a quick search on the word "megace." LBDdoc mentions it and says there are side effects but no more details are given. See:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=283


Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:38 pm
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Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
Yes, I did a search and found that forum entry. Then I did some reading on line and found one good literature review in a nursing journal that mentioned one very small study where most of the participants (elderly NH patients) had to withdraw due to confusion and early mental status changes (yikes). There were a lot of comments in general that it needs to be studied more in elderly malnourished patients. One practitioner discussed an increase in deep vein thrombosis (thrombosis being a recognized side effect) in elderly NH patients in her facility.

Other than losing weight, my mother has been pretty stable and relatively content recently, and I just hate to think of an unnecessary medication rocking the boat. And also, I do wonder if her lack of interest in food is an early part of the dying process, in which case I would accept it.

She has lost 30 pounds since her admission two years ago, most of which she has lost in the last six to nine months. However, she was probably 10-15 pounds overweight at the start. I would agree that she is about five to 10 pounds below where she ought to be. I don't know that it is enough to put us into panic mode. They have been offering her high calorie supplements and ice cream for the last several months, and recently she has started to refuse them. She isn't even much interested in chocolate, always a favorite food.

Anyway, because LBD is a special case with so many meds, I thought I would check and see what experience people might have had.

Thanks,

Julianne


Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:40 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
Julianne,

You've done some great digging on that medication.

Is your mom on hospice? If not, the weight loss may be the criterion by which she could be accepted into hospice.

Robin


Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
For the benefit of anyone who might search in the future, I am going to post a summary what I found out about Megace.

According to my research, my mother's doctor and my NP-Oncology niece, Megace is not a good idea for the elderly, and at minimum is a treatment of last resort. It can cause confusion, deep vein thrombosis, nausea and diahrrea. It is a hormone that has bad effects on elderly women. My niece went as far as saying it should never, ever be prescribed for elderly women. My mother's doctor said that he thought it was not a good idea for my mother and I should tell the nursing home, which was pushing it, that he said so.

Julianne


Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:36 am
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Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
This is very helpful info. Thanks Julianne.


Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:27 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:31 pm
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Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
My mother has been on Megace for the past month for appetite stimulation. She is still losing weight. It doesn't seem to do anything for her. She has had diarrhea, but we thought it was from her antibiotics (she has pneumonia), but it could have been from the Megace.


Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:54 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: Megace (megestrol) for appetite stimulation
Marie, thanks for the information. Diarrhea is one of the listed side effects of Megace, but who knows if that is what was causing it for your mother. We decided not to try Megace with my mother.

Julianne


Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:22 am
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