Medrol (Methylprednisolone) Dosage and Side Effects
MEDROL is used in the treatment of various conditions such as allergy or inflammation; it can also be used to replace corticosteroid hormone when the body does not produce enough due to problems with the adrenal glands (e.g. adrenal insufficiency).
Warnings and Precautions
Before taking MEDROL, talk to your doctor if you have:
- an infection (such as herpes simplex, chicken pox, tuberculosis, threadworm);
- recently had myocardial infarction (heart attack);
- thromboembolic disorders (bleeding or blood clotting problems);
- brittle bone (osteoporosis);
- high blood pressure;
- water retention (oedema);
- heart problems such as heart failure;
- kidney disease;
- seizures (fits) or other neurological problems;
- thyroid problems;
- muscle pain or weakness (such as myasthenia gravis);
- skin cancer (Kaposi’s sarcoma), or a tumor of the adrenal glands (Pheochromocytoma);
- certain eye disease such as glaucoma, cataracts; herpes infection or any problems with the retina;
- liver disease such as cirrhosis;
- certain mental or mood conditions (such as depression);
- stomach or gut problems (ulcer, ulcerative colitis);
- low potassium or calcium;
- weak immune response;
- Cushing’s disease (caused by an excess of cortisol hormone);
- high blood sugar;
- had any prior use of MEDROL.
Before you have any operation, tell your doctor, dentist or anesthetist that you are taking MEDROL.
Pregnancy and breast feeding:
You must tell your doctor if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or are trying to become pregnant as this medicine could slow the baby’s growth.
You should tell your doctor if you are breast feeding as small amounts of corticosteroid medicines may get into breast milk.
Corticosteroids can affect growth in children.
Like all medicines, MEDROL can have side effects although not everybody gets them.
MEDROL may hide symptoms of infections, may cause latent infections to become active, and may induce infections by normally inoffensive organisms due to lowered body resistance.
Potential side effects of MEDROL include:
- anaphylaxis (a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction)
- cardiac arrest
- bronchospasm (narrowing of the airway)
- heart failure
- heart attack
- arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- high and low blood pressure
- blood clots
- thrombophlebitis (vein inflammation)
- thrombosis (blood clot within a blood vessel)
- thin fragile skin
- impaired wound healing
- ecchymosis (spots caused by ruptured blood vessels)
- petechiae (reddish spot containing blood that appears in skin)
- stretch marks
- dry, scaly skin
- increased sweating
- lightening or darkening of an area of skin
- suppressed reactions to skin tests
- thinning hair
Endocrine and Metabolism:
- development of Cushingoid state (abnormal bodily condition caused by excess corticosteroids)
- moon face (enlargement of chin and forehead)
- weight gain
- abnormal fat deposits
- suppression of pituitary-adrenal axis (a condition that could lead to disabling the body’s responses to physiological stress such as severe infections or trauma)
- suppression of growth in children
- abnormal hair growth
- new symptoms of diabetes
- stomach ulcer
- stomach bleeding
- inflammation of the pancreas and esophagus
- perforation of the bowel
- vomiting or altered sense of taste (with rapid administration of large doses)
- abdominal pain
- bowl/bladder dysfunction
- increased appetite
- enlarged liver
- loss of muscle mass
- muscle weakness
- muscle pain
- malaise (feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness)
- pathological fractures
- vertebral compression fractures
- tendon rupture, (particularly of the Achilles tendon)
- Charcot joint disease (neuropathic arthropathy)
- joint pain
- pain and tenderness
- impaired sensation, strength, and reflexes
- sensation of tingling, tickling, prickling, or burning of a person’s skin
- increased intraocular pressure
- emotional instability
- euphoria (intense feelings of well-being, elation, happiness, excitement and joy)
- mood swings
- personality changes
- suicidal ideation
- menstrual irregularities
- increased or decreased motility and number of sperm
- above normal white blood cell count
- above normal cholesterol or triglicerides
- abnormal blood tests (ex. liver enzymes and urea)
- fatigue, hiccups, swelling
Interactions with this medication
Before taking MEDROL talk to your doctor about all your other medications, including those you bought without prescription, herbal or natural products. Especially if you are taking the following:
- drugs to treat glaucoma and epilepsy such as acetazolamide
- drugs to prevent or alleviate nausea and vomiting such as aprepitant or fosaprepitant
- drugs to treat cancer such as aminoglutethimide or cyclophosphamide
- drugs to “thin” the blood: Anticoagulants such as acenomoumarol, phenindione and warfarin
- drugs to treat myasthenia gravis (a muscle condition) such as distigmine and neostigmine
- antibiotics and antifungals (such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, amphotericin B, erythromycin, clarithromycin, troleandomycin, rifampicin and rifabutin)
- aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (also called NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen
- drugs to treat epilepsy such as barbiturates, carbamezipine, phenytoin and primidone
- drugs for heartburn and acid indigestion such as cimetidine
- drugs for heart problems or high blood pressure as digoxin and diltiazem
- water pills (Diuretics)
- hormone replacement therapy or hormonal oral contraceptive
- drugs to treat HIV infections such as indinavir or ritonavir
- pancuronium or vercuronium—or other medicines called neuromuscular blocking agents which are used in some surgical procedures
- tacrolimus—used following an organ transplant to prevent rejection of the organ
- vaccines—tell your doctor or nurse if you have recently had, or are about to have any vaccination
- drugs to treat diabetes
- drugs to treat tuberculosis
- drugs to treat high cholesterol (cholestyramine)
Driving and Using Machines:
MEDROL may cause dizziness, vertigo, vision problems and fatigue. If you experience these side effects you should not drive or operate machinery.
Proper Use of this medication
Between 4 mg to 48 mg daily, depending on your condition and how severe it is.
Your doctor may tell you to take your daily dose as a single dose or in divided doses.
Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking MEDROL.
When your condition has improved, your dose will be reduced gradually.
MEDROL should not be stopped abruptly. Do not stop taking MEDROL without talking to your doctor.
In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.