Methylprednisolone is a corticosteroid hormone medication used to treat blood disorders, certain cancers, arthritis, severe allergic reactions, intestinal/ lung/ skin/ kidney diseases and some eye conditions. It minimizes the response of the immune system to those diseases hence get rids on the allergies, pains and swelling symptoms. It can also be used alongside other medications for the treatment of other hormonal disorders.
It was initially invented in 1955 and approved by FDA in the same year. Since then, it has been a reliable corticosteroid for inflammation and the conditions named above.
How It Works
Just like the other corticosteroids, it works by decreasing swelling or inflammation. It achieves this by preventing white blood cells from moving to the specific swelling area in your body. It also works by changing the body’s immune system responses. This makes it extremely beneficial to the people with multiple myeloma and other blood disorders. It is not well understood how it works to treat nausea associated with chemotherapy.
How to use Methylprednisolone
Take Methylprednisolone or Medrol Generic orally as prescribed by your healthcare practitioner. Usually, it should be taken with either milk or food. The length and dosage merely depend on your response to the first dose, as well as your current health status. The drug is taken in different dosage schedules. For this reason, you are required to keep a calendar or a reminder of the exact time and dosage prescribed by your pharmacist.
Do not increase the dosage unless instructed to do so. Taking more tablets at once will not improve your condition any faster; in fact, it will only increase the side effects. Additionally, you should not alter the dosage or discontinue the medication without informing your doctor. Some medical conditions become worse or cause withdrawal symptoms like weight loss, muscle pain, tiredness and severe headache.
- The dosing for oral dose is 4 to 48mg administered once per day. It can also be taken twice per day when the dose is divided. Maintain or adjust the initial drug until you get a satisfactory response. The increments should be done gradually.
- The dosage for acetate suspension is 40 to 120mg administered once per week. It is taken for a period of 1 week to 1 month. For severe dermatitis, take 80 to 120mg. Expected relief should take a maximum of 12 hours. For chronic dermatitis, take 80 to120mg for 6 to 10 days. For seborrhea dermatitis, take 80mg once per week.
Typically, all drugs have both unwanted and expected side effects. The effects tend to disappear shortly while the adverse effects require immediate medical attention. The most common Methylprednisolone side effects are:
- Appetite changes
- Trouble sleeping
If any of the mentioned side effects persist or become worse, don’t hesitate to inform your healthcare provider. Different patients react differently to the same drug hence you should not assume that what someone experiences is the same will happen to you. In fact, many patients will not get any side effects at all.
Methylprednisolone has been reported to increase the blood sugar which worsens or causes diabetes. Tell your pharmacist if you experienced any high blood sugar symptoms such as increased urination or thirst. In case you have diabetes, carry out regular blood sugar checkups. Your doctor may find it necessary to either adjust your Medrol dosage or diet.
Methylprednisolone may also cause severe side effects like:
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Vision problems
- Unusual skin or hair growth
- Strange moods or behavioral changes such as agitation or depression.
- Irregular/ fast/ slow heartbeat
On rare occasions, it may cause internal bleeding, bloody/ black stools, persistent abdominal pain or vomiting blood. These effects are life-threatening, and you should report them immediately.
This is not the full list of the possible side effects of Methylprednisolone. To be on the safe side, always engage your doctor; only consult your doctor about any major or minor impact.
Some drug interactions affect the effectiveness of the medicine and also increase the side effects. For this reason, you should not start, change or stop your dosage without the doctor’s approval. Keep a record of the drugs that you are currently using including g the over the counter drugs, prescribed medications, herbal medicines or vitamin supplements.
Some of the products that interact with Methylprednisolone are:
- Blood thinners like dabigatran/warfarin
- Bleeding/ bruising drugs like clopidogrel
- NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and celecoxib
This medicine may also interfere with some laboratory tests (for instance, skin tests) hence causing false results. Ensure that you inform your laboratory personnel if you are using this drug before the test is done.
Methylprednisolone causes allergic reactions to the patients who have kidney problems. Inform your doctor if you are allergic to prednisone or any other ingredients of this medicine. Also, your doctor should know if you have a medical history in any of these:
- Bleeding problems
- Heart problems
- Brittle bones
- Kidney diseases
This drug should not be taken alongside other drugs like marijuana and alcohol. This is because it causes dizziness and the effects may worsen if mixed with these stimulants drugs. If you cannot do without them, inform your doctor for advice.
This drug may increase the risk of getting more infections or make your current infections worse. It is therefore advised that you clean your hands thoroughly to avoid spreading germs.
Extended use of all corticosteroid medications like Medrol makes it hard for body organs to respond to exercise and physical stress effectively. Carry out adequate or enough exercise while still at this medication. The drug can be passed to the unborn child during pregnancy. Therefore consult your doctor for the right prescription.
How Effective Is Methylprednisolone?
The effectiveness of this medicine merely depends on your discipline when taking it. In many situations, discontinuing the drug before the intake period elapses only worsens the situation. It’s therefore advisable to take the whole dose as instructed for a quick recovery.