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Methylprednisolone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: methylprednisolone (METH-il-pred-NIS-oh-lone)
Brand Name: Medrol

Methylprednisolone is used for:

Treating severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, certain blood disorders, and skin conditions. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Methylprednisolone is a corticosteroid. It works by modifying the body's immune response to various conditions and decreasing inflammation.

Do NOT use methylprednisolone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in methylprednisolone
  • you are taking mifepristone
  • you have a systemic fungal infection
  • you are scheduled to have a smallpox vaccine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using methylprednisolone:

Some medical conditions may interact with methylprednisolone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), heart attack, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, diabetes, seizures, an underactive thyroid, adrenal gland problems, or any mental or mood problems
  • if you have or have recently had a fungal, bacterial, viral, or other type of infection; herpes infection of the eye; chickenpox; measles; or shingles
  • if you have HIV or tuberculosis (TB), or if you have ever had a positive TB skin test
  • if you have any stomach problems (eg, ulcers), intestinal problems (eg, blockage, perforation, infection, unexplained diarrhea, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis), recent intestinal surgery, or inflammation of the esophagus
  • if you have weak bones (eg, osteoporosis) or muscle problems (eg, myasthenia gravis)
  • if you have had any recent vaccinations (eg, smallpox)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with methylprednisolone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), lithium, or rifampin because they may decrease methylprednisolone's effectiveness
  • Aprepitant, clarithromycin, cyclosporine, diltiazem, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, or troleandomycin because side effects, such as adrenal gland or nervous system problems, may occur
  • Aspirin, live vaccines, mifepristone, or ritodrine because their actions and the risk of their side effects may be increased by methylprednisolone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if methylprednisolone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use methylprednisolone:

Use methylprednisolone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take methylprednisolone by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you miss a dose of methylprednisolone, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use methylprednisolone.

Important safety information:

  • Methylprednisolone may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills. Notify your doctor of any signs of infection, including fever, sore throat, rashes, or chills, within 12 months after stopping methylprednisolone.
  • If you have not had chickenpox, shingles, or measles, avoid contact with anyone who does.
  • Methylprednisolone may cause serious increases in blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased potassium loss. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplements may be necessary.
  • Methylprednisolone may cause calcium loss and can promote the development of osteoporosis (brittle bones). Take adequate calcium and vitamin D supplements.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take methylprednisolone before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Diabetes patients - Methylprednisolone may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • Lab tests, such as adrenal function tests or blood pressure monitoring, may be performed while you use methylprednisolone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Corticosteroids may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they use methylprednisolone.
  • Methylprednisolone should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using methylprednisolone while you are pregnant. It is not known if methylprednisolone is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use methylprednisolone, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

If you stop taking methylprednisolone suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include unbalanced hormones (in both men and women).

Possible side effects of methylprednisolone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; facial flushing; feeling of whirling motion; headache; increased sweating.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody, black, or tarry stools; changes in body fat; changes in menstrual period; chest pain; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; increased hunger, thirst, or urination; mental or mood changes; muscle pain, weakness, or wasting; seizures; severe nausea or vomiting; slow wound healing; stomach pain; sudden, severe dizziness or headache; swelling of the feet or legs; tendon, bone, or joint pain; thinning of the skin; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual skin sensation; unusual weight gain; vision changes or other eye problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; fainting; fever; loss of appetite; low blood pressure; low blood sugar; muscle pain; nausea.

Proper storage of methylprednisolone:

Store methylprednisolone at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep methylprednisolone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about methylprednisolone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Methylprednisolone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take methylprednisolone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about methylprednisolone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to methylprednisolone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using methylprednisolone.

Issue Date: November 5, 2014
Database Edition 14.4.1.002
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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