- 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:
Quick GuideRheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment
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
Poison ivy, oak, and sumac contain a substance called urushiol, which causes a rash on people who come in contact with them....
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
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....
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....
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...
Eczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of...
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
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...
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder that causes symptoms like pain, clicking, and popping of the jaw. TMJ is...
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding....
Cystic acne is distinguised by painful nodules on the chest, face, neck, and back. This formo of acne is known to scar. Treatment...
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....
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...
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
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...
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...
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...
Optic neuritis is inflammation of the optic nerve, the structure that connects the eye to the brain. The precise cause of optic...
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...
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can be caused by a variety of infections, conditions, and viruses....
Neuromyelitis optica (Devic's syndrome) is a disease of the CNS that affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. People with...
There are two types of asthma medications: long-term control with anti-inflammatory drugs and quick relief from bronchodilators....
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...
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
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- Corticosteroids (Systemic, Oral and Injectable)
- Drugs: What You Should Know About Your Drugs
- Predinsone Side Effects (Adverse Effects)
- Drug Interactions
- hydrocortisone oral, A-Hydrocort, Solu-CORTEE, Cortef
- dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)
- teriflunomide (Aubagio)
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
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter
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.
Top methylprednisolone Related Articles
Acute Systemic Lupus PictureAcute systemic lupus erythematosus. See a picture of Acute Systemic Lupus and learn more about the health topic.
Atopic DermatitisEczema is a general term for many types dermatitis (skin inflammation). Atopic dermatitis is the most common of the many types of eczema. Other types of eczema include: contact eczema, allergic contact eczema, seborrheic eczema, nummular eczema, stasis dermatitis, and. dyshidrotic eczema.
Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, itchy ears, eyes, and throat. Seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) usually is caused by pollen in the air. Perennial allergic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis and is a year-round problem, often caused by indoor allergens, such as dust, animal dander, and pollens that may exist at the time. Treatment of chronic rhinitis and post nasal drip are dependent upon the type of rhinitis condition.
Cortisone InjectionCortisone injections are used to treat small areas of inflammation or widespread inflammation throughout the body. There is minimal pain from these injections, and relief from the pain of inflammation occurs rapidly.
Eczema FactsEczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from oozing blisters to crusty plaques of skin. Treatment varies depending upon the type of eczema the person has.
Epidural Steroid InjectionAn epidural steroid injection is a common procedure to treat spinal nerve irritation that causes chronic low back pain and/or leg pain (radicular pain). Disc herniation is also treated with epidural steroid injections. Epidural injections are also used to treat nerve compression in the neck (cervical radiculopathy).The procedure is quick and simple.
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and redness, typically of a single joint. Gout may be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Symptoms and Treatments
Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms vary from person to person, and can last for days to months without periods of remission. Symptoms of MS include sexual problems and problems with the bowel, bladder, eyes, muscles, speech, swallowing, brain, and nervous system. The early symptoms and signs of multiple sclerosis usually start between age 20 and 40. MS in children, teens, and those over age 40 is rare. Treatment options for multiple sclerosis vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms. Medications may be prescribed to manage MS symptoms.
MS SlideshowLearn about multiple sclerosis (MS) causes, symptoms, and treatment for this autoimmune disease that attacks the nerves of the central nervous system and damages myelin affecting the brain and spinal cord.
Poison Ivy, Oak, and SumacPoison ivy, oak, and sumac contain a substance called urushiol, which causes a rash on people who come in contact with them. Symptoms and signs include a red, swollen, itchy, blistering, bumpy rash. Treatment involves rinsing the exposed area with water, taking antihistamines and over-the-counter pain medications, using topical treatments such as calamine lotion, and applying cool compresses.
PsoriasisPsoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Take the RA QuizHow is rheumatoid arthritis different from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout? Take the Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Quiz to rest your RA IQ.
Steroids to Treat ArthritisSteroids decrease inflammation and may be used to treat many inflammatory conditions and diseases, such as systemic vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjögren's syndrome. Steroids are injected, rather than administered orally, to deliver a high dose of medication to a specific area. Side effects of steroid injections include infection, tendon rupture, skin discoloration, allergic reaction, and weakening of bone, ligaments, and tendons.