Medically reviewed on January 22, 2018
What is methylprednisolone?
Methylprednisolone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Methylprednisolone is used to treat many different inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, allergic disorders, gland (endocrine) disorders, and conditions that affect the skin, eyes, lungs, stomach, nervous system, or blood cells.
Methylprednisolone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use methylprednisolone if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body. Methylprednisolone injection should not be given to a premature baby.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use methylprednisolone if you are allergic to it, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body. Methylprednisolone injection should not be given to a premature baby.
Methylprednisolone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
To make sure methylprednisolone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, high blood pressure;
past or present tuberculosis;
glaucoma or cataracts;
herpes infection of the eyes;
a thyroid disorder;
osteoporosis or low bone mineral density (steroid medication can increase your risk of bone loss);
depression or mental illness;
a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
high levels of calcium in the blood related to cancer (also called hypercalcemia of malignancy);
if you use insulin or oral diabetes medication; or
if you take aspirin on a daily basis or at high doses.
It is not known whether methylprednisolone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether methylprednisolone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Steroids can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.
Do not give methylprednisolone to a child (especially a baby) without medical advice.
How is methylprednisolone given?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Methylprednisolone is injected into a muscle or soft tissue, into a skin lesion, into the space around a joint, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
If you have major surgery or a severe injury or infection, your methylprednisolone dose needs may change. Make sure any doctor caring for you knows you are using this medicine.
Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
You should not stop using methylprednisolone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you use methylprednisolone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you use steroid medication.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of methylprednisolone.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
An overdose of methylprednisolone is not expected to produce life threatening symptoms. However, long term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.
What should I avoid while using methylprednisolone?
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using methylprednisolone. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.
Methylprednisolone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
severe depression, changes in personality, unusual thoughts or behavior;
new or unusual pain in an arm or leg or in your back;
bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
a seizure (convulsions); or
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect methylprednisolone?
Other drugs may interact with methylprednisolone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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