Medicines used for digestion problems
This page tells you about medicines that can help with diet problems. There is information about
These are mainly for people who have lost a lot of weight or have cachexia. They work well in some people but not in everyone. The drugs with appetite stimulating effects used most often in people with cancer are hormone drugs called
- Megesterol acetate (also called Megace)
- Medroxyprogesterone acetate (also called Depo-Provera and Provera)
Both these drugs increase appetite and food intake in people with cancer who have nutritional problems. And they do help some people put on weight. But you are unlikely to see any weight gain for the first 4 to 6 weeks. And there is some doubt about how beneficial the weight gain really is. Most of it seems to be fat and fluid with these drugs and not muscle mass.
These drugs are also known to increase your sense of well being, which can be a great benefit to people with cancer who may be feeling very low, anxious or depressed.
Feeling and being sick is best controlled with medicines. These drugs are called anti sickness drugs, anti nausea drugs or anti emetics. Over the past 20 years, anti sickness drugs have got much better. There are now many more to choose from. If one drug does not work for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They can often suggest another you can try.
Steroids are used for many different illnesses and conditions. They are made naturally in the body. Now they are also made artificially and used as medicines. They can be given as tablets, liquids or injections.
Steroids are often used to help control chemotherapy sickness in people with cancer. They can also improve appetite, food intake and your sense of well being. They are sometimes used to help people gain weight but there can be problems if you take them long term. Much of the weight you gain on steroids is due to fluid retention.
After taking them for 3 to 4 weeks, they begin to interfere with the production of protein in your muscles. If used long term, they can cause muscle wasting. So steroids need to be used carefully under the supervision of your doctor.
Painkillers are also called 'analgesics' or 'analgesia'. Severe pain can make you lose your appetite and feel sick. If your pain is under control you are more likely to feel like eating.
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