methylprednisolone, Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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

Is methylprednisolone available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for methylprednisolone?

Yes

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:

Severe allergic conditions that fail conventional treatment also may respond to methylprednisolone. Examples include:

Chronic skin conditions treated with methylprednisolone include:

Chronic allergic and inflammatory conditions of the uvea, iris, conjunctiva and optic nerves of the eyes also are treated with methylprednisolone.

Methylprednisolone is used for treating shock and multiple sclerosis although their use in these conditions is controversial.

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:

Important psychic disturbances may include:

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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).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Summary

Methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol) is a medication prescribed to patients to suppress inflammation from a variety of conditions and diseases. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Reviewed on 7/11/2016
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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