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. 4th ed. Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 445.