Methylprednisolone is the general form of the proprietary preparation of Solu-Medrol, a corticosteroid, which relieves inflammation and improves problems caused by a decrease in the function of the adrenal glands.
The drug is used to treat various conditions, including:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Certain types of arthritis
- Intestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis
- Heavy allergy
- Outbreaks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Skin diseases such as psoriasis
- Problems with blood, kidneys, eyes and thyroid gland
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved methylprednisolone in 1957.
Solu-Medrol is manufactured by Pharmacia and Upjohn, a division of Pfizer, Inc.
Before taking methylprednisolone, tell your doctor if you have or have had:
- Fungal infection or any other type of infection
- Allergy to medicines or products
- History of problems with bleeding
- Congestive heart failure or a recent heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Problems with the liver or kidneys
- Low level of potassium
- Adrenal Problems
- Fluid retention
- Mental or mood disorders
- Eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataract or herpes infection of the eye
- Recent diagnosis of chickenpox, measles or shingles
- The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Problems with the stomach or intestines, such as ulcer or ulcerative colitis
- Inflammation of the esophagus
- Recent surgery on the intestine
- Recent head injury
- Recent vaccinations
- Weak bones or muscle problems
In addition, be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking the drug mifepristone (Mifeprex) before you start with methylprednisolone.
Some forms of Solu-Medrol solution may contain benzyl alcohol. This can cause serious or life-threatening harm to newborns or infants.
Talk with your doctor before giving this medicine to your baby.
Corticosteroids, such as methylprednisolone, can cause serious harm if they are injected into the spine with epidural anesthesia. These medications are not approved for this type of use.
Methylprednisolone may reduce the ability of your body to fight infections. Try to avoid contact with sick people or with infections.
Talk with your doctor before taking any vaccination while taking methylprednisolone. In addition, if you did not have chickenpox, measles, avoid contact with someone who is sick.
If you have diabetes, methylprednisolone may affect blood sugar levels. Regularly check blood sugar levels and talk to your doctor before changing any doses of your diabetes medications.
Corticosteroids, such as methylprednisolone, can affect growth in children and adolescents. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about this potential side effect.
Your doctor will most likely conduct frequent laboratory tests while you are taking methylprednisolone. Be sure to follow all the prescriptions of your health care provider.
This medicine may interfere with the testing of skin allergies. Be sure to tell your doctor that you are taking methylprednisolone before you pass this test.
Tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine before performing any surgery, including a dental procedure.
Pregnancy and Methylprednisolone
It is unknown whether methylprednisolone harms a child.
Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medication.
Also, it is not known whether the drug passes into breast milk and can harm it. Talk with your doctor before using this medication during breastfeeding.
Methylprednisolone and alcohol
Methylprednisolone may cause dizziness. The use of alcohol can worsen the side effects of dizziness associated with this drug, so you should limit alcohol consumption by taking it.
It has also been shown that drinking alcohol with methylprednisolone increases the risk of bleeding in the stomach.
Methylprednisolone vs. Prednisone
Although they have similar names, methylpredisolone and prednisone are different drugs and can not and should not be used interchangeably.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about your treatment.
Side effects of methylprednisolone
Tell your doctor if any of the following symptoms become serious or persistent:
- Mild nausea or dizziness
- Increased sweating or hair growth
- Mild stomach pain, bloating or vomiting
- Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site
Serious side effects
Immediately notify your doctor if you experience the following serious side effects:
- Symptoms of infection that may include fever, chills, or sore throat
- Bloody, black or tarry stools
- Vomiting, similar to the coffee grounds
- Increased hunger, thirst or urination
- Mental changes or mood changes
- Muscle pain, weakness
- Unusual weight gain
- Changes in the menstrual cycle (in women)
- Fainting, severe nausea or vomiting
- Inconsistent Breath
- Thoracic pain
- Fast, slow or irregular heartbeat
- Sudden, severe dizziness or headache
- Severe pain in the stomach
- Delayed wound healing
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Edema of the feet
- Disease of tendons or bones
- Thinning or discoloration of the skin
- Changes in vision
- Signs of an allergic reaction: a rash; hives; labored breathing; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, dietary and dietary preparations, especially those listed in the “Warnings” section and the following:
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as warfarin (coumadin)
- Preparations for arthritis
- Azithromycin (Zithromax)
- Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
- Ciclosporin (Neoral, Sandimmune)
- Digoxin (lanoxin)
- Estrogen (Premarin)
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- Oral contraceptives
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Rifampin (Rifadine)
- Theophylline (Theo-Dur)
- St. John’s Wort
Dosage of methylprednisolone
Methylprednisolone in the form of Solu-Medrol is administered as an injection.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Injections are usually administered in a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic.
Do not use the solution if it is discolored or contains particles.
Recently, the proprietary form of methylprednisolone, Medrol was available in a tablet of 4 mg. A doctor’s prescription is required.
Be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medicine. Do not give yourself more or less methylprednisolone than prescribed.
Overdose of methylprednisolone
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room.
The missed dose of methylprednisolone
If you miss a dose of methylprednisolone, take it as soon as possible.
However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip it and continue your regular medication schedule.
Do not double the dose to make up the missed one.