Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
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. Generic formulations of Solu-Medrol are available.
What Are Side Effects of Solu-Medrol?
Common side effects of Solu-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,
- peptic ulcers,
- high blood sugar (hyperglycemia),
- irregular menstrual periods,
- growth retardation in children,
- trouble sleeping,
- appetite changes,
- increased sweating,
- psychiatric disturbances, and
- injection site reactions (pain, redness, or swelling).
Dosage for Solu-Medrol
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Solu-Medrol?
Solu-Medrol During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
It has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant or nursing women. Abruptly stopping Solu-medrol can cause symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency.
Our Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) 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.
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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 Solu Medrol (Methylprednisolone sodium succinate)
The following adverse reactions have been reported with SOLU-MEDROL or other corticosteroids:
Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.
Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Leukocytosis.
Cardiovascular: 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 (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.
Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, burning or tingling (especially in the perineal area after intravenous injection), cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.
Endocrine: 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.
Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.
Hepatobiliary: Hepatitis (see WARNINGS, Drug-Induced Liver Injury).
Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.
Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, 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.
Neurologic/Psychiatric: 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. Arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, and sensory disturbances have occurred after intrathecal administration (see WARNINGS, Neurologic).
Ophthalmic: Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts, rare instances of blindness associated with periocular injections.
Other: 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.
Aminoglutethimide may lead to a loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression.
Amphotericin B Injection And Potassium-Depleting Agents
When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting agents (i.e., amphotericin B, diuretics), patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure.
Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance (see DRUG INTERACTIONS, Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors).
Concomitant use of anticholinesterase agents and corticosteroids may produce severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. If possible, anticholinesterase agents should be withdrawn at least 24 hours before initiating corticosteroid therapy.
Coadministration of corticosteroids and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin, although there have been some conflicting reports. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored frequently to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.
Because corticosteroids may increase blood glucose concentrations, dosage adjustments of antidiabetic agents may be required.
Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.
Cholestyramine may increase the clearance of corticosteroids.
Increased activity of both cyclosporine and corticosteroids may occur when the two are used concurrently. Convulsions have been reported with this concurrent use.
Patients on digitalis glycosides may be at increased risk of arrhythmias due to hypokalemia.
Estrogens, Including Oral Contraceptives
Estrogens may decrease the hepatic metabolism of certain corticosteroids, thereby increasing their effect.
Hepatic Enzyme Inducers (e.g., Barbiturates, Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Rifampin)
Drugs which induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme activity may enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and require that the dosage of the corticosteroid be increased.
Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors (e.g., Ketoconazole, Macrolide Antibiotics Such As Erythromycin And Troleandomycin)
Drugs which inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.
Ketoconazole has been reported to significantly decrease the metabolism of certain corticosteroids by up to 60%, leading to an increased risk of corticosteroid side effects.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs)
Concomitant use of aspirin (or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. The clearance of salicylates may be increased with concurrent use of corticosteroids.
Corticosteroids may suppress reactions to skin tests.
Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy may exhibit a diminished response to toxoids and live or inactivated vaccines due to inhibition of antibody response. Corticosteroids may also potentiate the replication of some organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until corticosteroid therapy is discontinued if possible (see WARNINGS, Infections, Vaccination).
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Solu Medrol (Methylprednisolone sodium succinate)
© Solu Medrol Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Solu Medrol Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.