Generic name: MethylprednisoloneBrand names: Medrol
Medrol, a corticosteroid drug, is used to reduce inflammation and improve symptoms in a variety of disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, acute gouty arthritis, and severe cases of asthma. Medrol may be given to people to treat primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency (inability of the adrenal gland to produce sufficient hormone). It is also given to help treat the following disorders:Severe allergic conditions (including drug-induced allergic states)Blood disorders (leukemia and various anemias)Certain cancers (along with other drugs)Skin diseases (including severe psoriasis)Connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosusDigestive tract diseases such as ulcerative colitisHigh serum levels of calcium associated with cancerFluid retention due to nephrotic syndrome (a condition in which damage to the kidney causes loss of protein in urine)Various eye diseasesLung diseases such as tuberculosisWorsening of multiple sclerosis
Medrol lowers your resistance to infections and can make them harder to treat. Medrol may also mask some of the signs of an infection, making it difficult for your doctor to diagnose the actual problem.
Take Medrol exactly as prescribed. It can be taken every day or every other day, depending on the condition being treated.
Do not abruptly stop taking Medrol without checking with your doctor. If you have been using Medrol for a long time, the dose should be reduced gradually.
Medrol may cause stomach upset. Take Medrol with meals or snacks.
If you take it several times a day, take it as soon as you remember. Then go back to your regular schedule. If you don't remember until your next dose, double the dose you take.
If you take your dose every other day, and you remember it the same morning, take it as soon as you remember and go back to your regular schedule. If you don't remember until the afternoon, do not take it until the following morning, then skip a day and go back to your regular schedule.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor immediately. Only your doctor can determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking Medrol.
Medrol should not be used if you have a fungal infection or if you are sensitive to or allergic to steroids (corticosteroids).
The 24-milligram Medrol tablet contains FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine), which has caused allergic reactions (including asthma) in some people. Although this is rare, it is more common in people who are sensitive to aspirin.
Medrol can alter the way your body responds to unusual stress. If you are injured, need surgery, or develop an acute illness, inform your doctor. Your dosage may need to be increased.
You should avoid immunization shots with live or live, attenuated vaccines while taking high doses of Medrol, because Medrol can suppress the immune system. Immunization with killed or inactivated vaccines is safe, but may have diminished effect.
Long-term use of Medrol may cause cataracts, glaucoma (increased eye pressure), and eye infections.
Large doses of Medrol may cause high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and potassium and calcium loss. It may be necessary to restrict your salt intake and take a potassium supplement.
Medrol may reactivate dormant cases of tuberculosis. If you have inactive tuberculosis and must take Medrol for an extended period of time, your doctor will prescribe anti-TB medication as well.
Medrol should be used cautiously if you have an underactive thyroid, liver cirrhosis, or herpes simplex (virus) infection of the eye.
This medication may aggravate existing emotional problems or cause new ones. You may experience euphoria (an exaggerated sense of well-being) and difficulty sleeping, mood swings, or mental problems. If you have any changes in mood, contact your doctor.
People taking corticosteroids, such as Medrol, have developed Kaposi's sarcoma, a form of cancer.
Medrol should also be taken with caution if you have any of the following conditions:Diverticulitis or other inflammatory conditions of the intestineHigh blood pressureCertain kidney diseasesActive or dormant peptic ulcerMyasthenia gravis (a muscle weakness disorder)Osteoporosis (brittle bones)ThreadwormUlcerative colitis with impending danger of infection
Long-term use of Medrol can slow the growth and development of infants and children.
Use aspirin cautiously with Medrol if you have a blood-clotting disorder.
Avoid exposure to chickenpox and measles.
If Medrol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either drug could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Medrol with the following:AspirinBarbiturates such as phenobarbitalBlood thinners such as warfarinCarbamazepineCyclosporineEstrogen medicationsInsulinKetoconazoleNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as indomethacinOral diabetes drugs such as glipizidePhenytoinRifampinTroleandomycinWater pills such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. There is no information about the safety of Medrol during pregnancy. Babies born to mothers who have taken doses of Medrol (corticosteroids) during pregnancy should be carefully watched for adrenal problems. Medrol may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Medrol is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Medrol is finished.
The starting dose of Medrol tablets may vary from 4 milligrams to 48 milligrams per day, depending on the specific problem being treated.
Once you've shown a satisfactory response, the doctor will gradually lower the dosage to the smallest effective amount. If you are taking Medrol for an extended period, the doctor may instruct you to take the drug only every other day, at twice your daily dosage.
For a worsening of multiple sclerosis, the dosage is 160 milligrams a day for one week, then 64 milligrams every other day for a month.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Medrol, seek medical treatment immediately.