Generic Name: methylprednisolone (METH il pred NIS oh lone)
Brand Names: Medrol, Medrol Dosepak
What is methylprednisolone?
Methylprednisolone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Methylprednisolone is used to treat many different inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, allergic disorders, gland (endocrine) disorders, and conditions that affect the skin, eyes, lungs, stomach, nervous system, or blood cells.
Methylprednisolone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medication if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
Before taking methylprednisolone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.
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Steroid medication, such as methylprednisolone, can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using methylprednisolone. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.
Do not stop using methylprednisolone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take methylprednisolone. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical professional who treats you should know that you take steroid medication.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use methylprednisolone if you are allergic to it, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
Methylprednisolone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
To make sure methylprednisolone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- heart disease, high blood pressure;
- kidney or liver disease (especially cirrhosis);
- a history of tuberculosis;
- a parasite infection (pinworms);
- glaucoma or cataracts;
- a recent head injury;
- stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis;
- a thyroid disorder;
- low bone mineral density (steroid medication can increase your risk of bone loss);
- depression or mental illness;
- a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of calcium or potassium in your blood);
- high levels of calcium in the blood related to cancer (also called hypercalcemia of malignancy);
- if you use insulin or oral diabetes medication; or
- if you take aspirin on a daily basis or at high doses.
It is not known whether methylprednisolone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether methylprednisolone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.