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Depo Medrol Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Depo-Medrol (methylprednisolone acetate) is an anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid used to treat pain and swelling that occurs with arthritis and other joint disorders. It may also be used to treat conditions such as blood disorders, severe allergic reactions, certain cancers, eye conditions, skin/intestinal/kidney/lung diseases, and immune system disorders. Depo-Medrol is available in generic form. Common side effects of Depo-Medrol include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, increased sweating, acne, or pain/redness/swelling at the injection site. Depo-Medrol may also cause a rise in blood sugar, and it may lower your ability to fight infections.
The initial dosage of Depo-Medrol varies from 4 to 120 mg depending on the disease being treated. Depo-Medrol may interact with aldesleukin, mifepristone, antibiotics, other drugs that weaken the immune response, other drugs that cause bleeding/bruising, azole antifungals, boceprevir, cyclosporine, estrogens, HIV protease inhibitors, rifamycins, St. John's wort, seizure medications, and telaprevir. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Depo-Medrol should be used only when prescribed. It may rarely harm a fetus. Infants born to mothers who use this medication during pregnancy may have hormone problems. Tell your doctor if you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn. This medication passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Depo-Medrol (methylprednisolone acetate) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
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 is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
Depo Medrol Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may make your blood sugar level rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of high blood sugar, such as increased thirst and urination. If you already have diabetes, be sure to check your blood sugars regularly. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough, white patches in the mouth).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unusual weight gain, menstrual period changes, bone/joint pain, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes (such as mood swings, depression, agitation), muscle weakness/pain, puffy face, slow wound healing, swelling of the ankles/feet/hands, thinning skin, unusual hair/skin growth, vision problems, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat.
This drug may infrequently cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. If you notice any of the following unlikely but serious side effects, consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately: black/bloody stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Depo Medrol (Methylprednisolone Acetate Injectable Suspension)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
Depo Medrol FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The following adverse reactions have been reported with Depo-Medrol or other corticosteroids:
Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopthy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent mycocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.
Acne, allergic dermatitis, cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increase sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.
Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.
Fluid and electrolyte disturbances
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, Fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention.
Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzymes levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible subsequent perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.
Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, calcinosis (following intra-articular or intra-lesional use), Charcot-like arthropathy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare (following intra-articular use), steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.
Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.
Exophthalmoses, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.
Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, injection site infections following non-sterile administration (see WARNINGS), malaise, moon face, weight gain.
The following adverse reactions have been reported with the following routes of administration
Arachnoiditis, bowel/bladder dysfunction, headache, meningitis, parapareisis/paraplegia, seizures, sensory disturbances.
Allergic reactions, rhinitis, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.
Increased intraocular pressure, infection, ocular and periocular inflammation including allergic reactions, residue or slough at injection site, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.
Miscellaneous injection sites
(scalp, tonsillar fauces, sphenopalatine ganglion): Blindness.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Depo Medrol (Methylprednisolone Acetate Injectable Suspension)
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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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