Health Guide

Methylprednisolone (By mouth)

Methylprednisolone (meth-il-pred-NIS-oh-lone)

Treats many diseases and conditions, including problems related to inflammation. This medicine is a corticosteroid.

Brand Name(s):

Medrol, Medrol Dosepak

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to methylprednisolone or if you have a fungus infection.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • If you are using this medicine for an ongoing illness, your dose may need to be changed occasionally. Some people take this medicine only every other day, which helps to decrease side effects.
  • Take your medicine in the morning, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how methylprednisolone works. Tell your doctor if you use any of the following:
    • Cyclosporine
    • Phenobarbital, phenytoin
    • Rifampin
    • Ketoconazole
    • Aspirin, especially high doses
    • Blood thinner, such as warfarin
    • Diabetes medicine
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, blood clotting problems, or thyroid problems. Also tell your doctor if you have had mental or emotional problems (such as depression) or stomach or bowel problems (such as an ulcer or diverticulitis).
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Mood or behavior changes
    • Higher blood pressure, retaining water, changes in salt or potassium levels
    • Cataracts or glaucoma (with long-term use)
    • Slow growth in children (with long-term use)
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • This medicine could cause you to get infections more easily. Tell your doctor right away if you have an infection or if you are exposed to chickenpox, measles, or other serious infection. Tell your doctor if you had a serious infection in the past, such as tuberculosis, herpes, or Strongyloides (threadworm).
  • Tell your doctor about any extra stress or anxiety in your life. Your dose might need to be changed for a short time.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dark freckles, skin color changes, coldness, weakness, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, weight loss
  • Depression, unusual thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, trouble sleeping
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or red or black stools
  • Skin changes or growths
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet, rapid weight gain
  • Trouble seeing, eye pain, headache

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Increased appetite
  • Round, puffy face
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved