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Depo-Medrol vs. Prednisone

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Depo-Medrol and Prednisone the Same Thing?

Depo-Medrol (methylprednisolone acetate) and prednisone are anti-inflammatory glucocorticoids used to treat pain and swelling that occurs with arthritis and other joint disorders. They 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.

Brand names of prednisone include Deltasone, Rayos, and Prednisone Intensol.

Side effects of Depo-Medrol and prednisone that are similar include nausea, vomiting, headache, trouble sleeping, or acne.

Side effects of Depo-Medrol that are different from prednisone include heartburn, dizziness, appetite changes, increased sweating, or injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling).

Side effects of prednisone that are different from Depo-Medrol include thinning skin, weight gain, or restlessness.

Both Depo-Medrol and prednisone may interact with antibiotics, azole antifungals, cyclosporine, estrogens (including oral contraceptives), HIV protease inhibitors, rifamycins, or seizure medications.

Depo-Medrol may also interact with aldesleukin, mifepristone, other drugs that weaken the immune response, other drugs that cause bleeding/bruising, boceprevir, St. John's wort, and telaprevir.

Prednisone may also interact with potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), anticholinesterase, anticoagulants, antidiabetic drugs, isoniazid, bupropion, cholestyramine, digitalis glycosides, fluoroquinolones, barbiturates, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), quetiapine, skin tests, thalidomide, and live or inactivated vaccines.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Depo-Medrol?

Common side effects of Depo-Medrol include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • heartburn,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • appetite changes,
  • increased sweating,
  • acne, or
  • injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling).

Other side effects of Depo-Medrol include a rise in blood sugar, and a lowered ability to fight infections.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Prednisone?

Common side effects of Prednisone include:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • acne, thinning skin,
  • weight gain,
  • restlessness, and
  • trouble sleeping.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of prednisone including

What Is Depo-Medrol?

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.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a glucocorticoid indicated to treat or manage many conditions, including endocrine disorders, rheumatic disorders, collagen diseases, dermatologic diseases, allergies, ophthalmic (eye) diseases, respiratory diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic diseases (cancers), edematous states, and gastrointestinal diseases. Prednisone tablets are available in generic form.

What Drugs Interact With Depo-Medrol?

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.

What Drugs Interact With Prednisone?

Prednisone may interact with diuretics (water pills), blood thinners, cyclosporine, insulin or oral diabetes medications, rifampin, azole antifungals, or seizure medications.

Prednisone may also interact with antibiotics, anticholinesterase, isoniazid, bupropion, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, digitalis glycosides, estrogens (including oral contraceptives), barbiturates, ritonavir, indinavir, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), quetiapine, skin tests, thalidomide, and live or inactivated vaccines.

Following prolonged therapy, withdrawal of corticosteroids such as decadron or prednisone may result in symptoms of the corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome including muscle or joint pain and feeling unwell (malaise).

How Should Depo-Medrol Be Taken?

The initial dosage of Depo-Medrol varies from 4 to 120 mg depending on the disease being treated.

How Should Prednisone Be Taken?

Prednisone is available in strengths of 0.5 and 0.75 mg tablets.

Reviewed on 2/15/2019

References:
FDA. Depo-Medrol Drug Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=9a7b3837-e038-48bf-97e9-78ad463760dc
Boehringer Ingelheim. Prednisone Product Information.

https://docs.boehringer-ingelheim.com/Prescribing%20Information/PIs/Roxane/Prednisone%20Reformulated/PredniSONEReform.pdf

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