Medrol

Generic name: methylprednisolone (oral)
Brand names: Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack
Drug class: Glucocorticoids

Medically reviewed by  A Ras MD.

What is Medrol used for?

Medrol is a prescription medicine that is used for many health problems like allergy signs, asthma, adrenal gland problems, blood problems, skin rashes, or swelling problems. This is not a list of all health problems that Medrol may be used for.

Description

DEPO-MEDROL is an anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid for intramuscular, intra-articular, soft tissue or intralesional injection. It is available as single-dose vials in two strengths: 40 mg/mL, 80 mg/mL.

Each mL of these preparations contains:

Methylprednisolone acetate 40 mg 80 mg
Polyethylene glycol 3350 29 mg 28 mg
Myristyl-gamma-picolinium chloride 0.195 mg 0.189 mg

Sodium Chloride was added to adjust tonicity.

When necessary, pH was adjusted with sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid.

The pH of the finished product remains within the USP specified range (e.g., 3.0 to 7.0.)

The chemical name for methylprednisolone acetate is pregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione, 21-(acetyloxy)-11,17-dihydroxy-6-methyl-,(6α,11β)- and the molecular weight is 416.51. The structural formula is represented below:

Chemical Structure

DEPO-MEDROL Sterile Aqueous Suspension contains methylprednisolone acetate which is the 6-methyl derivative of prednisolone. Methylprednisolone acetate is a white or practically white, odorless, crystalline powder which melts at about 215° with some decomposition. It is soluble in dioxane, sparingly soluble in acetone, alcohol, chloroform, and methanol, and slightly soluble in ether. It is practically insoluble in water.

Before taking Medrol, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to Medrol; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you have any of these health problems: A fungal infection or malaria infection in the brain.
  • If you have a herpes infection of the eye.
  • If you have nerve problems in the eye.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Medrol with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Medrol?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Medrol. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Chickenpox and measles can be very bad or even deadly in some people taking steroid drugs like Medrol. Avoid being near anyone with chickenpox or measles if you have not had these health problems before. If you have been exposed to chickenpox or measles, talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine lowers how much natural steroid your body makes. Tell your doctor if you have fever, infection, surgery, or injury. Your body’s normal response to these stresses may be affected. You may need extra doses of steroid.
  • Long-term use may raise the chance of cataracts or glaucoma. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause weak bones (osteoporosis) with long-term use. Talk with your doctor to see if you have a higher chance of weak bones or if you have any questions.
  • Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use of some vaccines with Medrol may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • If you have high blood sugar (diabetes), you will need to watch your blood sugar closely. Tell your doctor if you get signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
  • Liver problems have rarely happened with Medrol. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Medrol with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This medicine may affect growth in children and teens in some cases. They may need regular growth checks. Talk with the doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.

How is Medrol best taken?

Use Medrol as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Keep using Medrol as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Take in the morning if taking once a day.
  • Take with food.
  • If you have been taking Medrol for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop Medrol.
  • Have your eye pressure checked if you are on Medrol for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • Have a bone density test as you have been told by your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • You may need to lower how much salt is in your diet and take extra potassium. Talk with your doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are the side effects of Medrol that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of Cushing’s disease like weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, very bad headache, or slow healing.
  • Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a very bad upset stomach or throwing up, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, not hungry, or weight loss.
  • Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • Feeling very tired, weak, or touchy; trembling; having a fast heartbeat, confusion, sweating, or dizziness if you missed a dose or recently stopped Medrol.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Skin changes (pimples, stretch marks, slow healing, hair growth).
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Period (menstrual) changes.
  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Mental, mood, or behavior changes that are new or worse.
  • Seizures.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.

What are some other side effects of Medrol?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Restlessness.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Headache.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Medrol?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

 

SRC: NLM .

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