Methylprednisolone

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Methylprednisolone Brand Name(s): Methylprednisolone.

Uses

What is methylprednisolone used for?

Methylprednisolone is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood disorders, severe allergic reactions, certain cancers, eye conditions, skin/kidney/intestinal/lung diseases, and immune system disorders. It decreases your immune system’s response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as swelling, pain, and allergic-type reactions. This medication is a corticosteroid hormone.

Methylprednisolone may also be used with other medications in hormone disorders

How should I take methylprednisolone?

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually with food or milk. Follow your dosing instructions carefully. The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Different dosing schedules exist for this medication. If you are not taking the same dose each day or if you take this medication every other day, it may help to mark your calendar with a reminder. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may worsen or you may experience withdrawal symptoms (such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, muscle pain, headache, tiredness, dizziness) when this drug is suddenly stopped. To prevent these withdrawal symptoms when stopping methylprednisolone, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details and report any withdrawal reactions immediately. See also Precautions section.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store methylprednisolone?

Methylprednisolone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store methylprednisolone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of methylprednisolone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush methylprednisolone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using methylprednisolone?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of methylprednisolone or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have a fungal infection (other than on your skin), do not take methylprednisolone without talking to your doctor.
  • You have or have ever had liver, kidney, intestinal, or heart disease; diabetes; an underactive thyroid gland; high blood pressure; mental illness; myasthenia gravis; osteoporosis; herpes eye infection; seizures; tuberculosis (TB); or ulcers.
  • You are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking methylprednisolone.
  • You have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages while taking this drug. Methylprednisolone makes your stomach and intestines more susceptible to the irritating effects of alcohol, aspirin, and certain arthritis medications. This effect increases your risk of ulcers.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using methylprednisolone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking methylprednisolone. Methylprednisolone is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from methylprednisolone?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights
  • Shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain
  • Severe depression, changes in personality, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • New or unusual pain in an arm or leg or in your back
  • Bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling)

Common side effects may include:

  • Headache
  • Mild muscle pain or weakness
  • Stomach discomfort, bloating

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with methylprednisolone?

Methylprednisolone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Aspirin (taken on a daily basis or at high doses)
  • Cyclosporine
  • Insulin or oral diabetes medication
  • John’s wort
  • Antifungal medication–itraconazole, ketoconazole
  • HIV/AIDS medication–efavirenz, nevirapine, ritonavir
  • Seizure medication–phenobarbital, phenytoin, and others
  • Tuberculosis medication–rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine

Does food or alcohol interact with methylprednisolone?

Methylprednisolone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with methylprednisolone?

Methylprednisolone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Cataracts
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cushing’s syndrome (adrenal gland problem)
  • Diabetes
  • Eye infection
  • Glaucoma
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Infection (e.g., bacterial, virus, or fungus)
  • Mood changes, including depression
  • Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness)
  • Osteoporosis (weak bones)
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Personality changes
  • Stomach or intestinal problems (e.g., diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis)
  • Tuberculosis, inactive
  • Fungal infections

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using methylprednisolone.

What is the dose of methylprednisolone for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Allergic Rhinitis

acetate: 80 to 120 mg intramuscular only.

Usual Adult Dose for Dermatologic Lesion

acetate: 40 to 120 mg intramuscular weekly for 1 to 4 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Acetate: 40 to 120 mg intramuscular weekly

Large joints: 20 to 80 mg intraarticular

Medium joints: 10 to 40 mg intraarticular

Small joints: 4 to 10 mg intraarticular

Usual Adult Dose for Adrenogenital Syndrome

Acetate: 40 mg intramuscular every 2 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Anti-inflammatory

4 to 48 mg/day orally.

Sodium succinate: 10 to 40 mg Intravenous over 1 to several minutes. Give subsequent doses IV or IM.

Usual Adult Dose for Shock

30 mg/kg IV repeated every 4 to 6 hours or 100 to 250 mg IV repeated every 2 to 6 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Immunosuppression

4 to 48 mg orally per day.

2 to 2.5 mg/kg per day IV or IM, tapered slowly over 2 to 3 weeks or 250 to 1,000 mg IV once daily or on alternate days for 3 to 5 doses.

Usual Adult Dose for Asthma – Acute

Asthma exacerbations (emergency medical care or hospital doses):

Oral or IV: 40 to 80 mg/day in divided doses 1 to 2 times/day until peak expiratory flow is 70% of predicted or personal best

Short-course “burst” (acute asthma):

Oral: 40 to 60 mg/day in divided doses 1 to 2 times/day for 3 to 10 days; Note: Burst should be continued until symptoms resolve and peak expiratory flow is at least 80% of personal best; usually requires 3 to 10 days of treatment (approximately 5 days on average); longer treatment may be required

IM (acetate): 240 mg as a one-time dose (Note: This may be given in place of short-course “burst” of oral steroids in patients who are vomiting or if compliance is a problem)

Usual Adult Dose for Asthma – Maintenance

Oral: 7.5 to 60 mg daily given as a single dose in the morning or every other day as needed for asthma control

What is the dose of methylprednisolone for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anti-inflammatory

Sodium succinate: not less than 0.5 mg/kg/24 hours intravenous or intramuscular.

High dose therapy: 30 mg/kg intravenous over 10 to 20 minutes. May repeat every 4 to 6 hours, but not beyond 48 to 72 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma – Acute

Up to 11 years:

Asthma exacerbations (emergency medical care or hospital doses):

  • Oral or IV: 1 to 2 mg/kg/day in 2 divided doses (maximum: 60 mg/day) until peak expiratory flow is 70% of predicted or personal best.

Short-course “burst” (acute asthma):

  • Oral: 1 to 2 mg/kg/day in divided doses 1 to 2 times/day for 3 to 10 days; maximum dose: 60 mg/day; Note: Burst should be continued until symptoms resolve or patient achieves peak expiratory flow 80% of personal best; usually requires 3 to 10 days of treatment (approximately 5 days on average); longer treatment may be required
  • IM (acetate): Note: This may be given in place of short-course “burst” of oral steroids in patients who are vomiting or if compliance is a problem:
  • Children up to 4 years: 7.5 mg/kg as a one-time dose; maximum dose: 240 mg
  • Children 5 to 11 years: 240 mg as a one-time dose.

11 years or older:

Asthma exacerbations (emergency medical care or hospital doses):

  • Oral or IV: 40 to 80 mg/day in divided doses 1 to 2 times/day until peak expiratory flow is 70% of predicted or personal best

Short-course “burst” (acute asthma):

  • Oral: 40 to 60 mg/day in divided doses 1 to 2 times/day for 3 to 10 days; Note: Burst should be continued until symptoms resolve and peak expiratory flow is at least 80% of personal best; usually requires 3 to 10 days of treatment (approximately 5 days on average); longer treatment may be required
  • IM (acetate): 240 mg as a one-time dose (Note: This may be given in place of short-course “burst” of oral steroids in patients who are vomiting or if compliance is a problem)

Usual Pediatric Dose for Asthma – Maintenance

Up to 11 years:

0.25 to 2 mg/kg/day given as a single dose in the morning or every other day as needed for asthma control; maximum dose: 60 mg/day.

11 years or older:

Oral: 7.5 to 60 mg orally daily given as a single dose in the morning or every other day as needed for asthma control

How is methylprednisolone available?

Methylprednisolone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Suspension, Intramuscular: 40 mg/mL, 80 mg/mL.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of methylprednisolone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: July 26, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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