DESCRIPTION
Methylprednisolone, a man-made corticosteroid developed to mimic a natural hormone produced by the adrenal glands, is used in inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis, asthma, and severe allergies, to block symptoms of inflammation. It is also used to treat certain cancers. Methylprednisolone may be used in persons with acute spinal cord injury to reduce inflammation and promote recovery. Side effects of this drug include upset stomach, stomach irritation, vomiting, headache, dizziness, insomnia, restlessness, depression, anxiety, acne, and increased hair growth, among others.

ORIGINAL USES (ON-LABEL)
Various disorders of endocrine nature, collagen disease, skin disease, allergic states, gastrointestinal disorders, lung diseases, blood disorders, nervous system, certain leukemias and lymphomas, and blood disorders. Also used to prevent/treat graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.

NEWLY DISCOVERED USES (OFF-LABEL)
Acute spinal cord injury, chronic obstructive lung disease, drug-induced anaphylaxis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, membranous nephropathy, optic neuritis, respiratory distress syndrome, sudden hearing loss, urticaria, uveitis.

POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS
Edema, high blood pressure, insomnia, headache, acne, skin atrophy, diabetes mellitus, adrenal suppression, increased lipid levels, pituitary-adrenal axis suppression, low potassium, sodium and water retention, peptic ulcer, nausea, vomiting, increased white blood cell (transient), joint aches, fractures, glaucoma, infections, allergic reactions.

CAUTIONS
  • Steroid use may mask some signs of infection and may make you more susceptible to infections. Avoid contact with individuals who have chicken pox or measles.
  • Contact your doctor before receiving any vaccinations.
  • Inform your doctor if you have had or might have tuberculosis.
  • Prolonged use of steroids may promote the development of cataracts, glaucoma, or ocular infections.
  • May cause high blood pressure and fluid and sodium retention.
  • Use with caution if you have hyperthyroidism, cirrhosis, liver impairment, nonspecific ulcerative colitis, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, blood clot risk, congestive heart failure, convulsive disorders, myasthenia gravis, peptic ulcer, diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, or tuberculosis, and increased age.
DRUG INTERACTIONS
Phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin, diuretics, insulin, vaccinations, calcium.

FOOD INTERACTIONS
Alcohol may increase irritation of gastric mucosa; limit caffeine intake.

HERBAL INTERACTIONS
St. John's wort, cat's claw, echinacea.

PREGNANCY AND BREAST-FEEDING CAUTIONS
FDA Pregnancy Risk Category C. Excretion in breast milk unknown. Consult your doctor.

SPECIAL INFORMATION
The Second National Acute Spinal Cord Injury Study (NASCIS) II showed that Medrol in high doses provided neurologic improvements in persons with spinal cord injury, but high doses of methylprednisolone have become controversial based on the drug’s serious side effects. Yet this drug may help to reduce inflammatory processes that occur in the first days following the trauma, a secondary injury process which cause deterioration in spinal cord function.

Methylprednisolone has been studied in rats with spinal cord injury by researchers in Korea who found that this drug may improve functional recovery. At the University of Miami School of Medicine, researchers found that Medrol may be effective in reducing inflammation in persons with spinal cord injury, also based on studies involving rats.





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What is Medrol?
This drug decreases inflammation by suppressing white blood cell migration and reversing capillary permeability.
BRAND NAME
Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol, Medrol

GENERIC NAME
Methylprednisolone

CHEMICAL CLASS
Glucocorticoid, synthetic

THERAPEUTIC CLASS
Corticosteroid; systemic
AVAIL FORMS
Tablets — Oral 4 mg, 16 mg.
DOSAGE
Adult
PO 4-48 mg/day initially, adjust until satisfactory response is noted, taper gradually if used continuously for >10 days.
Child
PO 0.12-1.7 mg/kg/day or 5-25 mg/m2/day in divided doses q6-12h.