Medrol (methylprednisolone) is a corticosteroid used to treat inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis , blood and eye conditions, among others. Methylprednisolone is similar to a natural hormone made by the adrenal glands and can also help replace this chemical when your body doesn't make enough of it.
While Medrol dosage packs are generally available as tablets to be taken by mouth, the drug can also be administered as an injectable solution. The dosing schedule will depend on the advice of your healthcare professional. Typical doses range from 4 milligrams (mg) to 48 mg, depending on the condition being treated. It can be administered both in daily doses and in alternative daily doses.
Methylprednisolone can cause an upset stomach, so it is recommended to take it with food or milk.
Medrol side effects depend on factors such as dosage, length of treatment, underlying conditions, and other medications you are taking.
Common side effects
As a general rule, short Medrol treatments cause minimal side effects.
The most common side effects include:
Some of them may disappear during the course of treatment as your body gets used to Medrol. Your healthcare provider can also prescribe ways to control, prevent, and reduce these symptoms.
Do not stop taking methylprednisolone without consulting your doctor. Stopping the medication abruptly can cause side effects, including fluctuations in blood sugar, loss of appetite, upset stomach, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, headaches, fever, joint and muscle pain, scaly skin, and loss of weight.
Serious side effects
Medrol can cause serious side effects that require treatment.
Serious side effects include:
- Fluid and electrolyte problems: This can include sodium retention, hypertension , congestive heart failure (CHF) , and potassium loss.
- From the musculoskeletal system: muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis and tendon rupture.
- Gastrointestinal tract side effects: peptic ulcer , pancreatitis , and ulcerative esophagitis.
- Skin condition: poor wound healing, thinning and fragility of the skin, facial erythema or redness of the skin.
- Neurological complications: seizures and dizziness .
- Endocrine problems: growth suppression in children, insulin resistance and hyperglycemia.
- Eye problems: development of posterior subcapsular cataract or glaucoma .
- Metabolic problems: negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.
This is not a complete list of all possible serious side effects. If you experience any of the above symptoms, see your doctor.
When to call your healthcare provider
If you experience any of the following side effects, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency help:
- Confusion, personality changes, decreased alertness.
- Swelling of the face, legs, or ankles.
- Vision changes
- A cold or infection that lasts a long time.
- Muscular weakness
- Black or tarry stools
- Severe vomiting or vomiting of blood.
Your doctor will monitor your use of the medicine throughout your treatment. This may include monitoring with blood pressure measurements and / or blood and urine tests.
Your healthcare provider may also ask you to weigh yourself regularly and to report any unusual weight changes while taking Medrol.
Before using Medrol, you should be aware that the use of this drug comes with several warnings:
- Allergies: Do not take Medrol if you are allergic to methylprednisolone or any of the ingredients in this medicine.
- Pregnancy: If you take this medicine during pregnancy, it may harm the fetus. If you think you have become pregnant during the course of your treatment, see your doctor immediately.
- Stress and Anxiety – Tell your doctor if you are currently experiencing significant stress and anxiety in your life. Your healthcare provider may change the dose based on your emotional and psychological health.
- Adrenal problems: People who take Medrol for a long time or who take too much may have a higher risk of developing adrenal problems. Tell your doctor right away if you experience blurred vision, fast heartbeat or heart palpitations, increased urination or thirst, fainting and dizziness, irritability, or if you feel unusually tired or weak.
- Ulcers: If you have a history of ulcers or have taken large doses of aspirin or arthritis medications, limit your alcohol intake while taking Medrol. Methylprednisolone makes the stomach and intestines more susceptible to the irritating effects of alcohol, aspirin, and certain arthritis medications, increasing the risk of ulcers.
- Diabetes: Methylprednisolone can raise blood sugar levels. If you are checking your blood sugar (glucose) levels at home, check your blood or urine more often than usual. Call your doctor if you have high blood sugar or if it is present in your urine.
- Infections: Corticosteroids like Medrol can mask some signs of infection. You should avoid sick people to avoid getting infectious infections. Make sure you practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. Tell your doctor if you think you have had measles or chickenpox .
- Immunization: Avoid any vaccines without the approval of your healthcare provider while taking this medicine. Medrol can lower your body's resistance and make the vaccine less effective.
- Behavioral changes: While taking Medrol, you may experience changes in your behavior, such as depression, mood swings, disturbed sleep patterns, and personality changes. Tell your doctor if you notice any of these changes.
You may also be asked to report any injuries or signs of infection, such as fever, sore throat, painful urination, and muscle pain that occur during treatment.
Medrol can interact with other medications you are currently taking. Before starting treatment, tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. Tell your doctor if you start taking any new medications while taking Medrol and inform him of any adverse reactions you experience.
Certain medications should be avoided while taking Medrol.
- Avoid the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because their combination can increase the risk of ulcers.
- Simultaneous use of cyclosporine and medrol can inhibit metabolism. Taking both drugs at the same time has caused seizures in some people.
- Medications such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, and rifampin increase the clearance of medrol (the rate at which the active drug is cleared from the body), which may mean that you will need a higher dose to be effective.
- Antibiotics such as troleandomycin and ketoconazole inhibit the body's ability to metabolize medrole and slow its elimination. This will require adjusting the medication so that you can avoid steroid toxicity in your system.
- Aspirin is another common drug that should be used with caution because Medrol increases the clearance of high doses of aspirin in the body.
This is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions with Medrol. Talk to your doctor about the best way to approach Medrol while taking other medications and follow their instructions carefully.
Get the word of drug information
While Medrol can be a helpful medicine for treating inflammation, ask your doctor about possible side effects before starting to use this medicine. Knowing in advance what potential side effects you may be experiencing while taking Medrol can help you recognize the warning signs so that you can call your doctor or seek emergency medical attention. Staying informed about Medrol and staying in touch with your body's response will provide you with the best treatment for chronic inflammation.