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methylprednisolone (injection)

Pronunciation: METH il pred NIS oh lone

Brand: A-Methapred, DEPO-Medrol, SOLU-Medrol

What is the most important information I should know about methylprednisolone?

You may not be able to receive a methylprednisolone injection if you have a fungal infection.

What is methylprednisolone?

Methylprednisolone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Methylprednisolone is used to treat many different inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, allergic disorders, gland (endocrine) disorders, and conditions that affect the skin, eyes, lungs, stomach, nervous system, or blood cells.

Methylprednisolone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving methylprednisolone?

You should not be treated with methylprednisolone if you are allergic to it. You may not be able to receive a methylprednisolone injection if you have a fungal infection.

Methylprednisolone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;
  • a thyroid disorder;
  • diabetes;
  • glaucoma or cataracts;
  • kidney disease;
  • cirrhosis or other liver disease;
  • seizures, epilepsy or recent head injury;
  • past or present tuberculosis;
  • herpes infection of the eyes;
  • a condition called scleroderma;
  • stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or recent intestinal surgery;
  • a parasite infection that causes diarrhea (such as threadworms);
  • mental illness or psychosis;
  • osteoporosis or low bone mineral density (steroid medication can increase your risk of bone loss);
  • a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis; or
  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium in your blood).

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while using methylprednisolone.

How is methylprednisolone given?

Methylprednisolone is injected into a muscle or soft tissue, into a skin lesion, into the space around a joint, or given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).

If you have major surgery or a severe injury or infection, your methylprednisolone dose needs may change. Make sure any doctor caring for you knows you are using this medicine.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need medical tests and vision exams.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your methylprednisolone injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while receiving methylprednisolone?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using methylprednisolone. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using methylprednisolone.

What are the possible side effects of methylprednisolone?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain;
  • severe depression, changes in personality, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • new or unusual pain in an arm or leg or in your back;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting;
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • a seizure (convulsions); or
  • low potassium --leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness or limp feeling.

Methylprednisolone can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.

Common side effects may include:

  • weight gain (especially in your face or your upper back and torso);
  • slow wound healing;
  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • thinning skin, increased sweating;
  • stomach discomfort, bloating;
  • headache; or
  • changes in your menstrual periods.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect methylprednisolone?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Many drugs can affect methylprednisolone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about methylprednisolone.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2019 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.04. Revision date: 9/25/2018.

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