Methylprednisolone



Methylprednisolone is sold under the brand names Solu-Medrol and Medrol. It is a synthetic glucocorticoid or steroid drug. For MS patients it is usually used for as an anti-inflammatory. It prevents the release of substances that cause inflammation in the body.








When a person with multiple sclerosis has a new or particularly difficult exacerbation, the doctor may order this medication as treatment. For some, it may be the only treatment they take for their MS. In that case, it can also be a long term treatment.


Taking steroids


Cir had steroid treatments a few times. The first time he had treatment, he went into the doctors office it for. He had an IV over a period of days. He would come in, get hooked up, and sit for about an hour.


He was still working a full time job at the time. I don't think he was taking any of the other MS therapies yet.


I believe he had optic neuritis. And I'm not sure what brought that symptom on. Optic neuritis was one of the first symptoms he experienced before being diagnosed with MS.


Another time he had the IV treatments at home. By that time he wasn't working. A visiting nurse came and put in a temporary IV line. She brought the pole to hold the medication. And then sat there with Cir for about an hour while the medication went in.


That was pretty convenient. Cir was having a hard time walking at the time. I can't imagine having to take him to the doctors everyday for each of those treatments. We weren't living in accessible housing yet, so getting him up and down the stairs would have been very difficult.


Oral steroids


Cir has also taken Prednisone, which he took orally. It is also a synthetic corticosteroid medication and does basically the same thing as methylprednisolone. This medication can also be taken orally.




When not to use methylprednisolone


There are several times when you shouldn't take methylprednisolone. The obvious being if you are allergic to it. If this is your first time taking the drug, then you won't know until after you take it. An allergic reaction usually happens within two hours of taking a drug. So click here to see the signs of an allergic reaction.


Also, if you have a fungal infection, you shouldn't take this medication. If you've recently had an infection, taking this medication could make it come back. And if you have any type of infection, taking methylprednisolone can make it worse.


Weaker immune system


Because steroids weaken your immune system, you should try and stay away from anyone who's sick. Especially stay away from anyone with an infection. If you are exposed to chicken pox or measles call your doctor right away. You will probably need to be treated. If you don't get treated, this could end up being very serious or possibly even fatal.


You shouldn't take any “live” vaccines while taking methylprednisolone. They may not work very well when you are on steroid medications.


The doctor may need to adjust your dose if you have to deal with the stress of a serious illness (what is MS?), or any medical emergency. Also, if you have a fever (usually a sign of an infection), let your doctor know.


Are you pregnant or planning on having a baby? Are you nursing your baby? Methylprednisolone has a level C pregnancy category. It can harm your unborn child or pass through breast milk.


Other illnesses, as well as the medication you take to deal with them, can be an issue if you take Medrol. Discuss them with your doctor before taking methylprednisolone. Let your doctor know if you have any of the following conditions.


  • severe liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • kidney disease
  • thyroid disorder (hypothyroidism)
  • diabetes
  • history of malaria
  • tuberculosis
  • osteoporosis
  • muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis
  • glaucoma or cataracts
  • herpes infection of the eye
  • stomach ulcers
  • ulcerative colitis
  • diverticulitis
  • depression
  • mental illness
  • congestive heart failure
  • high blood pressure
  • bleeding problems
  • history of blood clots
  • brittle bones (osteoporosis)
  • seizures
  • untreated mineral problems (low potassium or calcium)



That's a long list, I know, but you need to discuss anything and everything with your doctor before beginning any steroid medication like methylprednisolone. Once you begin taking it, there are some possible side effects you should know about.


Click here to read more about them.





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