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Depo-Medrol vs. Solu-Medrol

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Are Depo-Medrol and Solu-Medrol the Same Thing?

Depo-Medrol (methylprednisolone acetate) and Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) are corticosteroids 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.

Side effects of Depo-Medrol and Solu-Medrol that are similar include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, increased sweating, acne, or injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling).

Side effects of Solu-Medrol that are different from Depo-Medrol include fluid retention, weight gain, high blood pressure, potassium loss, muscle weakness, puffiness of the face, hair growth on the face, thinning and easy bruising of the skin, glaucoma, cataracts, peptic ulcers, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), irregular menstrual periods, growth retardation in children, convulsions, or psychiatric disturbances.

Both Depo-Medrol and Solu-Medrol may interact with azole antifungals, estrogens, and rifamycins.

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

Solu-Medrol may also interact with live vaccines, amphotericin B, erythromycin, warfarin, or antidiabetic agents.

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 Solu-Medrol?

Common side effects of Solu-Medrol include:

  • fluid retention,
  • weight gain,
  • high blood pressure,
  • potassium loss,
  • headache,
  • muscle weakness,
  • puffiness of the face,
  • hair growth on the face,
  • thinning and easy bruising of the skin,
  • glaucoma,
  • cataracts,
  • peptic ulcers,
  • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia),
  • irregular menstrual periods,
  • growth retardation in children,
  • convulsions,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • heartburn,
  • dizziness,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • appetite changes,
  • increased sweating,
  • acne,
  • psychiatric disturbances, and
  • injection site reactions (pain, redness, or swelling).

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 Solu-Medrol?

Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) is a synthetic corticosteroid used for severe or incapacitating allergic conditions, dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, rheumatic disorders, and several other conditions.

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 Solu-Medrol?

Corticosteroids suppress the immune system and predispose patients to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Solu-medrol interacts with live vaccines, amphotericin B, erythromycin, warfarin, antidiabetic agents, estrogens, ketoconazole, and rifampin. It has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant or nursing women. Abruptly stopping Solu-medrol can cause symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency.

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 Solu-Medrol Be Used?

Dosing depends on the condition being treated.

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
FDA. Solu-Medrol Product Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/011856s103s104lbl.pdf

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