The clinical efficacy of megestrol acetate oral suspension was assessed in two clinical trials. One was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing megestrol acetate (MA) at doses of 100 mg, 400 mg, and 800 mg per day versus placebo in AIDS patients with anorexia/cachexia and significant weight loss. Of the 270 patients entered on study, 195 met all inclusion/exclusion criteria, had at least two additional post baseline weight measurements over a 12-week period, or had one post baseline weight measurement but dropped out for therapeutic failure. The percent of patients gaining five or more pounds at maximum weight gain in 12 study weeks was statistically significantly greater for the 800 mg (64%) and 400 mg (57%) MA-treated groups than for the placebo group (24%). Mean weight increased from baseline to last evaluation in 12 study weeks in the 800 mg MA-treated group by 7.8 pounds, the 400 mg MA group by 4.2 pounds, the 100 mg MA group by 1.9 pounds, and decreased in the placebo group by 1.6 pounds. Mean weight changes at 4, 8, and 12 weeks for patients evaluable for efficacy in the two clinical trials are shown graphically. Changes in body composition during the 12 study weeks as measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis showed increases in non-water body weight in the MA-treated groups (see clinical studies table). In addition, edema developed or worsened in only 3 patients.
Greater percentages of MA-treated patients in the 800 mg group (89%), the 400 mg group (68%), and the 100 mg group (72%), than in the placebo group (50%), showed an improvement in appetite at last evaluation during the 12 study weeks. A statistically significant difference was observed between the 800 mg MA-treated group and the placebo group in the change in caloric intake from baseline to time of maximum weight change. Patients were asked to assess weight change, appetite, appearance, and overall perception of well-being in a 9-question survey. At maximum weight change, only the 800 mg MA-treated group gave responses that were statistically significantly more favorable to all questions when compared to the placebo-treated group. A dose response was noted in the survey with positive responses correlating with higher dose for all questions.
The second trial was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing megestrol acetate 800 mg/day versus placebo in AIDS patients with anorexia/cachexia and significant weight loss. Of the 100 patients entered on study, 65 met all inclusion/exclusion criteria, had at least two additional post baseline weight measurements over a 12-week period or had one post baseline weight measurement but dropped out for therapeutic failure. Patients in the 800 mg MA-treated group had a statistically significantly larger increase in mean maximum weight change than patients in the placebo group. From baseline to study week 12, mean weight increased by 11.2 pounds in the MA-treated group and decreased 2.1 pounds in the placebo group. Changes in body composition as measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis showed increases in non-water weight in the MA-treated group (see clinical studies table). No edema was reported in the MA-treated group. A greater percentage of MA-treated patients (67%) than placebo-treated patients (38%) showed an improvement in appetite at last evaluation during the 12 study weeks; this difference was statistically significant. There were no statistically significant differences between treatment groups in mean caloric change or in daily caloric intake at time to maximum weight change. In the same 9-question survey referenced in the first trial, patients’ assessments of weight change, appetite, appearance, and overall perception of well-being showed increases in mean scores in MA-treated patients as compared to the placebo group.
In both trials, patients tolerated the drug well and no statistically significant differences were seen between the treatment groups with regard to laboratory abnormalities, new opportunistic infections, lymphocyte counts, T4 counts, T8 counts, or skin reactivity tests (see ADVERSE REACTIONS)
Megestrol Acetate Oral Suspension, USP
Clinical Efficacy Trials
Trial 1 Trial 2
Study Accrual Dates Study Accrual Dates
11/88 to 12/905/89 to 4/91
Megestrol Acetate, mg/day 0 100 400 800 0 800
Entered Patients 38 82 75 75 48 52
Evaluable Patients 28 61 53 53 29 36
Mean Change in Weight (lb.)
Baseline to 12 Weeks 0.0 2.9 9.3 10.7 -2.1 11.2
% Patients ≥5-Pound Gain at
Last Evaluation in 12 Weeks 21 44 57 64 28 47
Mean Changes in Body Composition*
Fat Body Mass (lb.) 0.0 2.2 2.9 5.5 1.5 5.7
Lean Body Mass (lb.) -1.7 -0.3 1.5 2.5 -1.6 -0.6
Water (liters) -1.3 -0.3 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -0.1
% Patients With Improved Appetite
At Time of Maximum Wt. Change 50 72 72 93 48 69
At Last Evaluation in 12 Weeks 50 72 68 89 38 67
Mean Change in Daily Caloric Intake:
Baseline to Time of Maximum
Weight Change -107 326 308 646 30 464
*Based on bioelectrical impedance analysis determinations at last evaluation in 12 weeks
Presented below are the results of mean weight changes for patients evaluable for efficacy in Trials 1 and 2.