Medrol treats a variety of conditions including allergic and inflammatory conditions and some cancers. It suppresses the body's immune system, and this reduces swelling and inflammation.
Medrol is a prescription medication used to treat many conditions including low corticosteroid levels (adrenal insufficiency), certain types of arthritis, allergic conditions, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and other diseases affecting the lungs, skin, eyes, kidneys, blood, thyroid, stomach, and intestines.
Medrol belongs to a group of drugs called corticosteroids, which replace corticosteroids which the body normally make, or to reduce inflammation that could cause damage to the body.
This medication comes in tablet form. It is best taken with food to prevent stomach upset.
Common side effects include upset stomach, dizziness, and difficulty falling asleep. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how it will affect you.
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Uses of Medrol
Medrol is a prescription medication used to treat:
- allergic conditions
- certain conditions affecting the lungs, skin, eyes, kidneys, blood, thyroid, stomach, and intestines. Medrol frequently treats diseases of these organs by reducing inflammation.
- some types of cancer
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Medrol Drug Class
Medrol is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Medrol
Serious side effects have been reported with Medrol. See “Medrol Precautions” section.
Common side effects of Medrol include:
- upset stomach
- stomach irritation
- increased hair growth
- easy bruising
- irregular or absent menstrual periods
This is not a complete list of Medrol side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Restasis, Gengraf)
- phenobarbital (Donnatal)
- phenytoin (Dilantin)
- rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
- ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- aspirin (Ecotrin)
This is not a complete list of Medrol drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Serious side effects have been reported with Medrol including:
- Hypersensitivity reaction: Medrol may trigger an allergic response. Symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction include:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Cardiac and renal problems: Medrol can increase blood pressure, cause water and sodium retention, and increase potassium and calcium excretion. Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart or kidney disease.
- Immunosuppression: Medrol decreases your body’s immune response to infections. In addition, Medrol can increase sensitivity to vaccines since the immune response is reduced with Medrol use.
- Reactivation of tuberculosis: Tell your doctor if you have had tuberculosis.
- Perforation of the gastrointestinal tract: Medrol can cause holes in the stomach or intestinal lining. Tell your doctor if you have a history of ulcers or other digestive system problems.
- Decreased bone formation: Medrol can prevent the formation of bones, which may result in decreased bone density and osteoporosis.
- Eye damage: Long-term use may lead to cataracts, glaucoma, damage to the optic (eye) nerves, and may worsen an eye infection.
- Electrolyte changes: Corticosteroids can cause a rise sodium and a decrease of potassium. Corticosteroids also cause a loss in calcium.
- Extreme mood changes: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms...
- euphoria (intense feeling of happiness or joy)
- mood swings
- personality changes
- severe depression
- Stunted growth in children: Growth should be monitored with long-term use of Medrol.
- Kaposi's sarcoma: This type of cancer has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy. Stopping its use may result in clinical remission.
- Steroid withdrawal: To avoid withdrawal side effects, do not stop taking Medrol suddenly. Discuss with your doctor about slowly decreasing the dose before stopping use of this medication altogether.
Medrol can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Medrol affects you.
Do not take Medrol if you:
- have an active fungal infection
- are allergic to Medrol, aspirin, or any ingredient within this medication product
Medrol Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Medrol, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.
Before taking Medrol, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to Medrol, aspirin (Ecotrin), or any ingredient within this medication product
- have a history of liver, kidney, intestinal, or heart disease
- have diabetes, an underactive thyroid gland, high blood pressure, or mental illness
- have myasthenia gravis (disease of weak muscles), osteoporosis, seizures, or ulcers
- have or have had tuberculosis or any other type of ongoing infection
- have a history of ulcers (holes in the stomach)
- have a history of alcohol use or abuse
- have are or about to receive a vaccine, especially a live one such as the nasal influenza, MMR, or varicella vaccines
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Medrol and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
Medrol falls into category C. This medication may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that its benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn baby.
It is not known if Medrol will harm your unborn baby.
Medrol and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
You should not take Medrol if you are breastfeeding. It may be excreted in your breast milk and may harm your nursing child.
Take Medrol exactly as prescribed.
Medrol comes as a tablet to be given directly by a healthcare professional.
Medrol can be taken with or without food. It is recommended to take with food to prevent stomach irritation.
To avoid steroid withdrawal side effects, do not stop taking Medrol suddenly. Discuss with your doctor about slowly decreasing the dose before stopping use of this medication altogether.
If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of Medrol at the same time.
Take Medrol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage and schedule depending the disease being treated and your response to the medication. The starting dosage of Medrol may vary from 4 mg to 48 mg a day depending on reason for use.
If you take too much Medrol, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
- Store at room temperature.
- Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.