Methylprednisolone (Injection)

Introduction

Methylprednisolone (meth-il-pred-NIS-oh-lone)

Treats inflammation, severe allergies, flare-ups of ongoing illnesses, and many other medical problems. May also be used to decrease some symptoms of cancer. This medicine is a corticosteroid (cortisone-like medicine or steroid).

Brand Name(s)

Depo-Medrol, Novaplus Depo-Medrol, Depo Medrol, Solu-Medrol, A-Methapred, Novaplus Solu-Medrol, Solu Medrol

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to methylprednisolone or if you have a fungus infection that affects your whole body. You should not have this medicine injected into a muscle if you have idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Some strengths of Solu-Medrol® that contain benzyl alcohol should not be used in premature babies.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine may be given through a needle placed in one of your veins or as a shot into a muscle.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor may give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using aminoglutethimide (Cytadren®), amphotericin B (Fungizone®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cholestyramine (Questran®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), pancuronium (Pavulon®), phenobarbital (Luminol®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or certain antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, Biaxin®, Ery-tab®, or Zithromax®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using a diuretic or "water pill," a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), pain or arthritis medicine (NSAIDs such as aspirin, celecoxib, ibuprofen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Motrin®), insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Amaryl®, Avandia®, Glucotrol®, or Glucovance®), or estrogen (including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy).
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have recently spent time in a tropical climate.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about all other health problems you have, including kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, or stomach or bowel problems. Tell your doctor if you have adrenal gland problems (such as Cushing syndrome), nerve or muscle disease (such as myasthenia gravis), thyroid problems, or a recent heart attack.
  • If this medicine is being injected into a joint, make sure your doctor knows about any other problems you have had with that joint.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have a fever or other signs of an infection such as chills, sore throat, or pain. This medicine could cause you to get infections more easily. If you are exposed to chicken pox or measles, tell your doctor right away. Avoid people who are sick, and wash your hands often.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you already have an infection, such as herpes eye infection, tuberculosis, or threadworm (Strongyloides). Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea or if you get infections often.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • This medicine may cause mood or behavior changes. Talk with your doctor if you feel unusually happy or sad, have trouble sleeping, have mood swings, or start to have unusual behavior.
  • If you use this medicine for a long time, tell your doctor about any extra stress or anxiety in your life, including other health concerns and emotional stress. Your dose might need to be changed for a short time while you have extra stress.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any bone pain or if you have an increased risk for osteoporosis (weak bones). If your child is using this medicine, tell the doctor if you think your child is not growing properly. This medicine might affect the bones, so it could cause slow growth in children or osteoporosis in anyone if it is used for a long time.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, trouble seeing, eye pain, or any other changes in vision. You may need to be checked by an eye doctor.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blurred vision, eye pain, changes in vision
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Mood swings, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • Muscle pain, weakness, or cramps, sudden joint pain
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Color changes on the skin, dark freckles
  • Diarrhea
  • Easy bruising
  • Increased thirst or urination
  • Red, pink, purple, or brown flat spots or bumps on your skin
  • Round, puffy face
  • Skin looks sunken or indented where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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