Methylprednisolone

How do I say this name?

meth-ihll-pred-NISS-oe-lone

What is this medicine used for?

Methylprednisolone kills some types of cancer cells and helps prevent allergic reactions to medications or blood products. Methylprednisolone also decreases nausea and vomiting caused by other chemotherapy drugs. People might also take this medicine for multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries.

This medicine may be called by several different brand names, including Solu-Medrol® or Medrol®.

How do I take this medicine?

Methylprednisolone is taken by mouth or injected into the veins.

Take methylprednisolone with food (or at mealtimes) if you take it by mouth. Take your dose in the morning if you take only one dose each day.

How do I store this medicine?

Store methylprednisolone tablets at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, or direct light.

Are there any special things I should do while on this medicine?

Methylprednisolone can decrease the ability of your body to fight infections, especially if you are taking other medicine for your cancer. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist how to reduce your risk of infection.

Do not stop taking methylprednisolone without checking with your doctor first. You may need to gradually decrease your dose, or "taper off" the medicine, if you take methylprednisolone for more than a few weeks or in high doses.

Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you are diabetic. Methylprednisolone may change your blood sugar levels and you may need to adjust your insulin, or food intake. If your diabetes is controlled with a pill, your doctor may need to change your dose.

Tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you are allergic to any medications, especially medications that contain tartrazine (FD&C yellow dye #5), like clindamycin (Cleocin®), ethinyl estradiol (Estinyl®), estradiol (Estrace®), oxazepam (Serax®), or procainamide (Pronestyl®). Some people with allergies to these products are also allergic to methylprednisolone tablets because they contain tartrazine.

What if I miss a dose?

If you skip or forget to take a dose of methylprednisolone, what you should do depends on the dosing schedule you follow:

More than once daily: Take the missed dose right away, then go back to your normal schedule. If it is time for your next dose, take the two doses together.

Once daily: Take the missed dose right away, then go back to your normal schedule. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and do not increase your dose to make up for the missed dose.

Every other day: Take the missed dose right away if you remember before noon. If you do not remember until later, take the missed dose the next morning then take a dose every other day from then on. Do not increase your dose to make up for a missed dose.

Note: If you take methylprednisolone on even-numbered days and you miss a dose, your schedule shifts and you begin taking the medicine on odd-numbered days. If you take your doses on odd-numbered days and miss a dose, the schedule shifts to even-numbered days. Mark your calendar with an "X" or another symbol to remind you to take the medicine.

What side effects are common with this medicine?

When should I call my doctor?

Call your doctor if you are worried about a side effect or have questions about your medical care.

Methylprednisolone might change how you think, feel, or act. Call the doctor if you or your family are worried about the way you are feeling or acting.

Call the doctor at once if you have any of these side effects:

Call the doctor as soon as you can if you have any of the following side effects:

Are there side effects from this medicine after I finish my chemotherapy?

Your body may need time to adjust after you stop taking methylprednisolone, depending on how much methylprednisolone you took and how long you were on it. Some people need up to a year before they return to normal. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects during this time:

These written patient information materials should be used in conjunction with verbal counseling. They are not intended as the sole source of information patients receive about their chemotherapy and other medications. The adverse effects listed are important and common ones that patients might experience; every possible adverse effect is not included. Long-term adverse effects, like secondary malignancy and infertility, are discussed for those drugs whose risk is well defined.