- Rheumatoid Arthritis Slideshow Pictures
- Take the RA Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- What is methylprednisolone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for methylprednisolone?
- Is methylprednisolone available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for methylprednisolone?
- What are the uses for methylprednisolone?
- What are the side effects of methylprednisolone?
- What is the dosage for methylprednisolone?
- Is methylprednisolone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about methylprednisolone?
What is methylprednisolone, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Methylprednisolone family of products include methylprednisolone, methylprednisolone acetate (Medrol, Depo-medrol), and methylprednisolone sodium acetate (Solu-medrol). They will be called methylprednisolone in this monograph. They are synthetic (man-made) corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are naturally-occurring chemicals produced by the adrenal glands located adjacent to the kidneys. Corticosteroids affect metabolism in various ways and modify the immune system. Corticosteroids also block inflammation and are used in a wide variety of inflammatory diseases affecting many organs. The FDA approved methylprednisolone in October 1957.
What brand names are available for methylprednisolone?
Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol, A-Methapred
What are the uses for methylprednisolone?
Methylprednisolone is used to achieve prompt suppression of inflammation. Examples of inflammatory conditions for which methylprednisolone is used include:
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- systemic lupus erythematosus,
- acute gouty arthritis,
- psoriatic arthritis,
- ulcerative colitis, and
- Crohn's disease.
Severe allergic conditions that fail conventional treatment also may respond to methylprednisolone. Examples include:
Chronic skin conditions treated with methylprednisolone include:
What are the side effects of methylprednisolone?
Adverse effects of methylprednisolone depend on dose, duration and frequency of administration. Short courses of methylprednisolone are usually well-tolerated with few, mild side effects. Long term, high doses of methylprednisolone may produce predictable and potentially serious side effects. Whenever possible, the lowest effective doses of methylprednisolone should be used for the shortest length of time to minimize side effects. Alternate day dosing also can help reduce side effects.
Side effects of methylprednisolone and other corticosteroids range from mild annoyances to serious irreversible bodily damage. Commonly reported side effects include:
- fluid retention,
- weight gain,
- high blood pressure,
- potassium loss,
- muscle weakness,
- puffiness of the face,
- hair growth on the face,
- thinning and easy bruising of the skin,
- peptic ulceration,
- worsening of diabetes,
- irregular menses,
- growth retardation in children,
- convulsions, and
- psychic disturbances.
Important psychic disturbances may include:
What is the dosage for methylprednisolone?
Dosage requirements of corticosteroids vary among individuals and the diseases being treated. In general, the lowest effective dose is used. The oral dose range is 2-60 mg daily depending on the disease. Depo-medrol doses are 10-80 mg injected into muscle every 1-2 weeks, and Solu-medrol doses are 10-250 mg intravenous or intramuscular injections up to 6 times daily. The initial dose should be adjusted based on response. Corticosteroids given in multiple doses throughout the day are more effective but also more toxic than the same total daily dose given once daily, or every other day.
Oral methylprednisolone should be taken with food.
Is methylprednisolone safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
: Methylprednisolone has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women.
Methylprednisolone has not been adequately evaluated in nursing mothers.
What else should I know about methylprednisolone?
What preparations of methylprednisolone are available?
Tablets: 4, 8, 16, 24, and 32 mg. Injectable suspension: 20, 40, and 80 mg/ml. Powder for Injection: 40, 125, 500, 1000, and 2000 mg.
How should I keep methylprednisolone stored?
Methylprednisolone preparations should be kept at room temperature, from 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
How is rheumatoid arthritis different from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout? Take the Rheumatoid...
Picture of Acute Systemic Lupus
Acute systemic lupus erythematosus. See a picture of Acute Systemic Lupus and learn more about the health topic....
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms and Treatment
Learn about multiple sclerosis (MS) causes, symptoms, and treatment for this autoimmune disease that attacks the nerves of the...
Related Disease Conditions
Crohn's Disease (Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect...
Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic...
Neutropenia (Causes, Symptoms, Ranges, Treatment)
Neutropenia is a marked decrease in the number of neutrophils, neutrophils being a type of white blood cell (specifically a form...
Poison ivy, oak, and sumac contain a substance called urushiol, which causes a rash on people who come in contact with them....
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding....
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder that causes symptoms like pain, clicking, and popping of the jaw. TMJ is...
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can be caused by a variety of infections, conditions, and viruses....
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip (Symptoms, Treatment)
Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, itchy ears, eyes, and throat. Seasonal...
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...
Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
Superior vena cava syndrome is compression of the superior vena cava vein located in the upper chest. Causes of superior vena...
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment (PBC)
Primary biliary sclerosis (PBC) is thought to be an autoimmune disorder that involves the deterioration of the liver's small bile...
Neuromyelitis optica (Devic's syndrome) is a disease of the CNS that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. People with...
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from...
Spinal Cord Injury: Treatments and Rehabilitation
When vertebrae are broken or dislocated, the result can cause traumatic injury to the spinal cord. A spinal cord injury can have...
There are two types of asthma medications: long-term control with anti-inflammatory drugs and quick relief from bronchodilators....
Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve, the structure that connects the eye to the brain. The precise cause of optic...
Chronic Bronchitis (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Remedies)
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least three months, two years in a...
Multiple Sclerosis Early Symptoms and Signs (Early, Body Areas Affected)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person, and can last for days to months without periods of remission....
Cystic acne is distinguised by painful nodules on the chest, face, neck, and back. This formo of acne is known to scar. Treatment...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Lupus Nephritis Treatment
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- hydrocortisone oral, A-Hydrocort, Solu-CORTEE, Cortef
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Corticosteroids (Systemic, Oral and Injectable)
- dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
- teriflunomide (Aubagio)
- Predinsone Side Effects (Adverse Effects)
Prevention & Wellness
- Preventive Steroids May Not Help Heart Bypass
- Preventive Steroids May Not Improve Heart Bypass Surgery Results
- Infections From Tainted Steroids Ranged in Severity: Update
- Steroid Shots a Temporary Fix for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Study
- Fungus From Tainted Steroid Shots Migrated to Base of Brain, Study Shows
- MRIs Spot 'Hidden' Fungal Infections From Tainted Steroid Shots
- Meningitis/Steroid Toll Now 34 Dead
- Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 33 Dead, 480 Sickened, CDC Says
- Compounding Pharmacists Oppose Greater U.S. Oversight
- Owner of Meningitis-Linked Pharmacy Declines to Testify Before Congress
- Congress to Open Hearings Into Steroid/Meningitis Outbreak
- Steroid-Meningitis Toll Now 32 Dead, 438 Sickened, CDC Says
- Steroid-Meningitis Toll Now 31 Dead, 424 Sickened, CDC Says
- Report Details Start of Steroid Meningitis Outbreak
- FDA: More Tainted Products at Firm Tied to Meningitis Outbreak
- Meningitis-Linked Infections Now Number 386, CDC Says
- FDA: 2 More NECC Drugs Contaminated
- Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 28 Dead, 363 Sickened
- FDA Finds Mold, Germs at Compounding Pharmacy
- Cases Linked to Fungal Meningitis Now Number 328
- Mass. Launches Criminal Probe of Firm Linked to Meningitis Outbreak: Report
- Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 23 Dead, 297 Sickened: CDC
- Meningitis Outbreak Toll Now 23 Dead, 284 Sickened: CDC
- Latest Meningitis Outbreak Toll: 20 Deaths and 257 Infections, CDC Says
- FDA Agents Visit Mass. Company Linked to Meningitis Outbreak
- Tainted Steroid Injections May Affect Those Treated for Joint Pain
- New Warnings in Fungal Meningitis Outbreak
- Official: Pharmacy Tied to Meningitis Outbreak May Have Broken State Law
- Meningitis Crisis Expands; More Infections, Deaths
- Meningitis Toll Now 12 Dead, 137 Sick: CDC
- Up to 13,000 Got Steroid Shots at Center of Meningitis Outbreak: CDC
- Steroid-Related Meningitis Cases Now Total 91, CDC Says
- Health Highlights: Oct. 4, 2012
- Prescription Meds Can Put on Unwanted Pounds
- New Therapy Might Help Relieve Painful Foot Condition
Rheumatoid Arthritis Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.