Medrol general information
What is Medrol used for?
Medrol tablets 4mg are used for a wide range of conditions where intervention with a steroid medication is needed, either to replace a lack of naturally produced hormone or to treat various inflammatory, allergic and immune disorders to suppress clinical symptoms of the disease, also to treat and prevent exacerbations. Medrol tablets 4mg are used for hormone replacement therapy in conditions where the adrenal glands do not make enough of the natural hormone cortisol, such as in adrenal insufficiency and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Medrol tablets 4mg are also used reduce inflammation in conditions where the immune system is overactive, including rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis (inflammation in the spine); also inflammation in joints and tendons, including tenosynovitis and bursitis; collagen diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus, arteritis (inflammation of an artery), systemic dermatomyositis and polymyositis (inflammation of the muscles) and rheumatic fever; skin disorders like pemphigus (severe blistering of the skin and mucous membranes) and severe dermatitis and eczema; severe allergy like allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis; eye disorders like optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve) and uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye); respiratory disorders like pulmonary tuberculosis and pulmonary sarcoidosis (nodules of inflammatory cells in the lungs); gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis; immune-mediated disorders of the blood like thrombocytopenia purpura (low platelet count), haemolytic anaemia. Medrol tablets 4mg are also used to help treat certain tumours of the blood like leukemia and lymphoma; also to prevent rejection following organ transplant.
How does Medrol work?
Medrol tablets 4mg contain methylprednisolone, which is a synthetic corticosteroid hormone (or glucocorticoid), similar to prednisolone but more potent and both are similar to the naturally occurring cortisol (also known as hydrocortisone), which is commonly referred to as the stress hormone. Natural and synthetic corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-rheumatic and immunosuppressant properties. They have widespread effects acting on most tissues in the body to modify, carbohydrate, fat, protein and calcium metabolism. They also regulate and salt and water balance, decrease bone formation, suppress the immune system and inhibit inflammatory reactions. Methylprednisolone in Medrol tablets 4mg works by entering the cells of the target tissues and binding to an intracellular receptor. The major therapeutic actions of methylprednisolone in Medrol tablets 4mg are to reduce the inflammatory response primarily by blocking the production of inflammatory chemicals, like prostaglandins and leukotrienes, from inflammatory cells to reduce the swelling, redness and pain associated with inflammation. It also modifies the actions of cells involved in immune and allergic responses, and suppresses the immune system, which helps in autoimmune disorders, where the immune system attacks self; also helps prevent rejection following organ transplant.
What does Medrol contain?
Medrol tablets 4mg contain the active ingredient methylprednisolone, which is a synthetic glucocorticoid used to treat a wide range of inflammatory, allergic and immune disorders.
Treating inflammation with Medrol
Medrol tablets 4mg contain methylprednisolone, a synthetic corticosteroid hormone with potent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-rheumatic and immunosuppressant properties that works in a similar way to the naturally occurring hormone cortisol (also known as hydrocortisone) but is much more potent. Medrol tablets 4mg are used for a wide range of conditions to replace a lack of naturally produced hormone or to treat various inflammatory, allergic and immune disorders to suppress clinical symptoms of the disease also to treat and prevent exacerbations. Methylprednisolone in Medrol tablets 4mg works by blocking the production of inflammatory chemicals, like prostaglandins and leukotrienes, from inflammatory cells; it also modifies the actions of cells involved in allergic and immune responses. This action helps reduce symptoms of inflammation caused by many different factors, for example, where the immune system is overactive, like severe asthma, acute outbreaks of eczema and severe allergies like allergic rhinitis; autoimmune diseases, where the immune system is directed against self, like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus or Crohn's disease.
What are the side effects of Medrol?
The most commonly reported side effects when taking Medrol include: increased susceptibility to infection, muscle or bone aches and pains, fluid retention, weight gain, hypertension (high blood pressure), thinning of skin, bone demineralisation, slow wound healing, acne, peptic ulcers, redistribution of body fat creating the typical moon face, altered vision.
What are the health risks of taking Medrol?
Long term use of Medrol tablets 4mg may cause the adrenal glands, which produce endogenous (naturally occurring) corticosteroids, to stop working efficiently. This may slow down the growth rate in children and will need regular monitoring. Medrol tablets 4mg may also cause decreased bone mineral density, if used for long periods. Long term use of steroids may be associated with a range of side effects such as; round face, altered body shape, altered hair growth, thinning of the bones, decreased resistance to infection, increased blood pressure and diabetes.
When should Medrol not be used?
You should not use Medrol tablets 4mg if you:
- are allergic to methylprednisolone or any ingredients in Medrol
- are pregnant or are breastfeeding
- have thyroid, stomach, heart, kidney or liver problems, high blood pressure, mood disorders, epilepsy, diabetes, glaucoma, osteoporosis
- have any infectious disease, acute infection, systemic fungal infection, tuberculosis, uncomplicated viral hepatitis
- are due to receive a vaccination with a live virus vaccine
- are taking medicines that may interact with Medrol including: non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) like diclofenac, ibuprofen, aspirin; barbiturates, anticonvulsants like phenytoin, antibiotics like rifampicin, anticoagulants like warfarin, immunosuppressants like cyclosporine
- are taking diuretic medicines such as the thiazides or frusemide, these may cause increased loss of potassium when taken with Medrol
What medications interact with Medrol?
Several medications interact with Medrol tablets 4mg and should either not be taken while you are taking Medrol or only after discussion and instruction from your doctor:
- Drugs that cause a serious reaction with Medrol: immunosuppressants like cyclosporine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) like diclofenac, ibuprofen, aspirin, diuretics like frusemide
- Drugs that affect Medrol: anticonvulsants like phenytoin, antibiotics like rifampicin, immunosuppressants like cyclosporin
- Drugs that are affected by Medrol: anticoagulants like warfarin, immunosuppressants like cyclosporine, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) like diclofenac, ibuprofen, aspirin
How should Medrol be taken?
You should take your Medrol tablets 4mg swallowed whole with a glass of water and with food. The dose you take, how often and for how long depends on what you are being treated for and as recommended by your doctor. You should not stop taking Medrol tablets 4mg suddenly and withdrawal should be gradual to reduce risk of side effects.
How long should you take Medrol?
The dose you take, how often and for how long depends on what you are being treated for and as recommended by your doctor. You should not stop taking Medrol tablets 4mg suddenly and withdrawal should be gradual to reduce risk of side effects.
Missed dose of Medrol
If you miss a dose of Medrol tablets 4mg take it as soon as you remember, unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.
How should Medrol be stored?
You should store your Medrol tablets 4mg below 25°C in a cool dry place.