Progestogens have progesterone-like action and are used for the treatment of breast and endometrial cancer, as well as for the management of cachexia/anorexia.
The two compounds most frequently used are megestrol acetate
and medroxyprogesterone acetate
. The adverse effects of progestogens are dose-related.
At the higher doses advocated for the treatment of patients with cancer, the frequent dose-limiting side effects are nausea, weight gain, fluid retention, and venous thromboembolism.
- General: appetite stimulation, weight gain
- Cardiovascular: mild fluid retention, venous thromboembolism
- Genitourinary: menstrual irregularities, amenorrhea
- Hepatic: elevated enzymes
- Neurological: weakness, lethargy
- Psychological: depression
Woodruff R. Palliative medicine evidence-based symptomatic and supportive care for patients with advanced cancer. Fourth edition. Oxford University Press, 2004. (p. 445)