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Note: This document contains side effect information about methylprednisolone. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Medrol.
Applies to methylprednisolone: oral tablet
Other dosage forms:
Along with its needed effects, methylprednisolone (the active ingredient contained in Medrol) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking methylprednisolone:
Incidence not known
Some side effects of methylprednisolone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
Applies to methylprednisolone: compounding powder, injectable powder for injection, injectable suspension, oral tablet
The most commonly occurring side effects have included fluid retention, alteration in glucose tolerance, increased blood pressure, behavioral and mood changes, increased appetite, and weight gain; the incidence generally correlates with dosage, timing of administration, and duration of treatment.
Frequency not reported: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions; anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema, bronchospasm
A European review describes cases of allergic reactions, including bronchospasm and anaphylaxis, in patients allergic to cows milk proteins receiving injectable methylprednisolone products containing lactose of bovine origin. In most cases, the patients were younger than 12 years old and had childhood asthma. In some cases, the reaction was mistaken as lack of efficacy, and additional doses of were give with subsequent worsening of the patients condition. The European Union has recommended lactose-containing methylprednisolone products be reformulated to remove any trace of milk proteins by 2019.
Frequency not reported: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis, edema, hypotension
Frequency not reported: Cushingoid state, hirsutism, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), moon face
Frequency not reported: Abdominal distention, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, perforation of the small and large intestine, ulcerative esophagitis, gastric hemorrhage, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea
Reversible transaminase elevations (AST, ALT) have been observed following corticosteroid therapy. These changes have generally been small and not associated with any clinical syndrome. Toxic hepatitis has been reported with high doses of cyclically pulsed IV therapy, onset has been several weeks or longer. Resolution has been reported with discontinuation; however, recurrence has been reported with rechallenge.
Frequency not reported: Hepatomegaly, elevation in liver enzymes, toxic hepatitis
Frequency not reported: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, manifestations of latent diabetes, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention, increased appetite, negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism, weight gain, metabolic acidosis, dyslipidemia, lipomatosis
Frequency not reported: Suppression of growth in pediatric patients, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, calcinosis, Charcot-like atrophy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare, steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon, vertebral compression fractures, myalgia, muscle atrophy, osteonecrosis, neuropathic arthralgia, growth retardation
Frequency not reported: Leucocytosis
Frequency not reported: Opportunistic infection
Frequency not reported: Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts, blindness, chorioretinopathy
Blindness has been reported with corticosteroid injection to scalp, tonsillar fauces, sphenopalatine ganglion.
Frequency not reported: Depression, emotional instability, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, psychic disorders, confusional states, anxiety, abnormal behavior, irritability
Frequency not reported: Acne, allergic dermatitis, cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymosis, petechiae, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria, hypertrichosis, angioedema, skin atrophy, hyperhidrosis, pruritus
Frequency not reported: Injection site infections, injection site reactions
Frequency not reported: Convulsions, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, amnesia, dizziness
Frequency not reported: Vertigo, abnormal fat deposits, malaise, sterile abscess, impaired healing, fatigue
Frequency not reported: Kaposi's sarcoma
Frequency not reported: Pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolism, hiccups
Frequency not reported: Menstrual irregularities, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, increased urine calcium, glycosuria
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