High-Dose Megestrol Acetate: A Possible Treatment for Cachexia

N. Simon Tchekmedyian, Nancy Tait, Mark Moody, Joseph Aisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Weight loss and anorexia are significant complications of a variety of disorders and add morbidity to the underlying process. We observed marked weight gain (median, 5.1 kg; range, 0.9 to 20.1 kg) and appetite enhancement in 27 of the 28 patients with breast cancer receiving treatment consisting of high doses of oral megestrol acetate (480 to 1600 mg/d). Weight gain occurred regardless of pretreatment weight, extent of metastases, or response to therapy. Our results suggest a possible role for megestrol acetate in reversing anorexia and weight loss, thereby improving the quality of life of patients with cachexia. Further research is needed to establish the mechanism of weight gain and potential clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1195-1198
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 6 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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