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IV Steroids for Multiple Sclerosis

The medication methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol) is used for treatment of multiple sclerosis. Methylprednisolone is a potent anti-inflammatory steroid that may improve your symptoms.

What can I expect the day of my treatment?

  • Plan to be at the treatment for about one hour on the day(s) of your treatment. You may receive blood tests before the treatment to monitor your complete blood count and your sodium and potassium levels.
  • A nurse will also check your blood pressure and pulse before and after the treatment.
  • The medication is given by intravenous drip for 30 to 45 minutes or injected directly into a vein.
  • After the treatment, you can return to your normal daily activities, including driving.
  • Following the intravenous treatments, you will be asked to take an oral form of a steroid called prednisone. Your nurse will give you a written schedule of when and how often to take the medication.
  • You may also be given a prescription for a medication to reduce stomach irritation.

What are some possible side effects?

It's important to remember that not everyone experiences these side effects.

  • Stomach irritation such as indigestion and heartburn
  • Increased energy, which may result in difficulty sleeping
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Flushing of the face, neck or chest
  • Feeling warm or cool
  • Fluid retention (Avoid table salt and salty foods)
  • Mood changes
  • Metallic taste in the mouth

Does insurance cover I.V. steroid treatment?

Insurance coverage for this treatment varies greatly, depending on individual insurance plans. Intravenous methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol) is usually covered. You may want to check with your insurance company before receiving treatment.

© Copyright 1995-2010 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 1/24/2007...#4853

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