Megestrol Acetate is marketed under various brand names for veterinary use. Two of these names are Ovaban and Ovarid. Ovaban is the USA brand name, while Ovarid is the European brand name. In Belgium & Switzerland, it is known as Megecat. They are all the same—megestrol acetate. Some say that the brand name of Ovaban is no longer marketed. I have never seen or used the brand names of Ovaban or Ovarid. All of the megestrol acetate that I have ever purchased from a vet has been labeled simply as “Megestrol Acetate” in pill form. From this point on, I will refer to megestrol acetate as simply “MA”. Any usage of the words “Ovaban” or “Ovarid” on this website will also simply be referring to megestrol acetate pills.
MA pills come in several strengths such as 5 mg tablets, 10 mg tablets, 20 mg tablets, and 40 mg tablets. MA also comes in a liquid oral suspension known as human “MegAce” in 40 mg per ml of liquid. Bottles of liquid human MegAce usually contain 240 ml of liquid per bottle. An injectable solution of MA is available, but do NOT use the injectable version. Use only pills or oral suspension for feral colony use!
Both pills and oral suspension can be used to prevent estrus in felines. Whichever you are able to obtain from a licensed veterinarian will serve your purpose. Some prefer to work with the liquid MegAce suspension as you don’t have to crush and dissolve pills in distilled water.
I myself prefer the 20 mg tablets in a 100 count bottle. The cost for 100 tablets is about $30-$50, depending on which pharmacy your veterinarian uses. A 100 count bottle will last a LONG time depending on the number of feral cats in your colony.
You will find that most veterinarians are reluctant to prescribe MA. This is usually due to the fact that they are unaware of the very miniscule doses that we use to prevent feline estrus. As already stated, many vets will Google the words “feralstat/megestrol acetate” and they will always come upon the erroneous statements of the ACC&D.
The amount of MA we are dosing the colonies with once a week is VERY SMALL!
The original Feralstat website touted that the minimum effective daily dose of megestrol acetate necessary to prevent estrus in a feral cat was 0.04 milligrams—which is smaller than a grain of sand.
Many caretakers have had to make a presentation to their vet to educate and inform them of the proper use of MA that we are dealing with in feral colonies. Many have had to point their vet to this website.
The biggest hurdle you will have is to find a vet that will prescribe MA for your colony. If all else fails, check with cat fancy breeders that raise and sell exotic cats. Many of these breeders use MA on a regular basis to prevent estrus. Perhaps they can “give” you some MA. MA is also used to stimulate appetites in humans. Many cancer patients are prescribed liquid MegAce. Check with family members to see if they have prescriptions for liquid MegAce or MA tablets.
Finally, many people resort to online pharmacies located outside the jurisdiction of the USA to purchase MA tablets. While this can be risky, it can be done. I myself have purchased MA from online/offshore foreign pharmacies. You just have to do your research to find a reputable online pharmacy that does not require a prescription. Some of these online/offshore pharmacies have a doctor on-hand to “consult” with once you order the MA and they usually always approve it. Again, use these pharmacies at your own risk!
Once you have obtained a prescription for MA, then you are ready to proceed to the MIXING & DOSING of megestrol acetate section of this website.