What is this medication?
METHYLPREDNISOLONE (meth ill pred NISS oh lone) treats many conditions such as asthma, allergic reactions, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, adrenal, and blood or bone marrow disorders. It works by decreasing inflammation, slowing down an overactive immune system, or replacing cortisol normally made in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that plays an important role in how the body responds to stress, illness, and injury. It belongs to a group of medications called steroids.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Medrol, Medrol Dosepak
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Cushing's syndrome
- Eye disease, vision problems
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
- Liver disease
- Mental illness
- Myasthenia gravis
- Recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccine
- Stomach or intestine problems
- Thyroid disease
- An unusual or allergic reaction to lactose, methylprednisolone, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medication with food. If you are taking this medication once a day, take it in the morning. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not suddenly stop taking your medication because you may develop a severe reaction. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take. If your care team wants you to stop the medication, the dose may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, talk to your care team. You may need to miss a dose or take an extra dose. Do not take double or extra doses without advice.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
- Live virus vaccines
This medication may also interact with the following:
- Amphotericin B
- Aspirin and aspirin-like medications
- Certain antibiotics like erythromycin, clarithromycin, troleandomycin
- Certain medications for diabetes
- Certain medications for fungal infections like ketoconazole
- Certain medications for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- Certain medications that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
- Female hormones, like estrogens and birth control pills
- NSAIDs, medications for pain inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
- Other medications for myasthenia gravis
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice. You may develop a severe reaction. Your care team will tell you how much medication to take.
This medication may increase your risk of getting an infection. Tell your care team if you are around anyone with measles or chickenpox, or if you develop sores or blisters that do not heal properly.
This medication may increase blood sugar levels. Ask your care team if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.
Tell your care team right away if you have any change in your eyesight.
Using this medication for a long time may increase your risk of low bone mass. Talk to your care team about bone health.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Cushing syndrome—increased fat around the midsection, upper back, neck, or face, pink or purple stretch marks on the skin, thinning, fragile skin that easily bruises, unexpected hair growth
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)—increased thirst or amount of urine, unusual weakness or fatigue, blurry vision
- Increase in blood pressure
- Infection—fever, chills, cough, sore throat, wounds that don't heal, pain or trouble when passing urine, general feeling of discomfort or being unwell
- Low adrenal gland function—nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, unusual weakness or fatigue, dizziness
- Mood and behavior changes—anxiety, nervousness, confusion, hallucinations, irritability, hostility, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, worsening mood, feelings of depression
- Stomach bleeding—bloody or black, tar-like stools, vomiting blood or brown material that looks like coffee grounds
- Swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
- General discomfort and fatigue
- Increase in appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight gain
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy