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.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Eye disease, vision problems
High blood pressure
Infection (especially a virus infection such as chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes)
Recently received or scheduled to receive a vaccine
Stomach or intestine problems
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.
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:
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
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
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.
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.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.