Medrol®

(methylprednisolone) Tablets, USP

DRUG DESCRIPTION

What are the possible side effects of methylprednisolone (Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, MethylPREDNISolone Dose Pack)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

problems with your vision;

swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);

bloody or tarry stools,…

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Medrol »

MEDROL Tablets contain methylprednisolone which is a glucocorticoid. Glucocorticoids are adrenocortical steroids, both naturally occurring and synthetic, which are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Methylprednisolone occurs as a white to practically white, odorless, crystalline powder. It is sparingly soluble in alcohol, in dioxane, and in methanol, slightly soluble in acetone, and in chloroform, and very slightly soluble in ether. It is practically insoluble in water.

The chemical name for methylprednisolone is pregna – 1,4 – diene – 3,20-dione, 11, 17, 21-trihydroxy-6-methyl-, (6α, 11β)-and the molecular weight is 374.48. The structural for-mula is represented below:

 

Each MEDROL Tablet for oral administration contains 2 mg, 4 mg, 8 mg, 16 mg or 32 mg of methylprednisolone.
Inactive ingredients:

2 mg
Calcium Stearate
Corn Starch
Erythrosine Sodium
Lactose
Mineral Oil
Sorbic Acid
Sucrose

4 and 16 mg
Calcium Stearate
Corn Starch
Lactose
Mineral Oil
Sorbic Acid
Sucrose

8 and 32 mg
Calcium Stearate
Corn Starch
F D & C Yellow No. 6
Lactose
Mineral Oil
Sorbic Acid
Sucrose

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010

Medrol Indications & Dosage

 

INDICATIONS

MEDROL Tablets are indicated in the following conditions:

1.  Endocrine Disorders

Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the first choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance).
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Nonsuppurative thyroiditis
Hypercalcemia associated with cancer

2. Rheumatic Disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:
Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Acute and subacute bursitis
Synovitis of osteoarthritis
Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis
Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
Psoriatic arthritis
Epicondylitis
Acute gouty arthritis

3. Collagen Diseases

During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis)
Acute rheumatic carditis

4. Dermatologic Diseases

Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis
Severe erythema multiforme
(Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
Severe seborrheic dermatitis
Exfoliative dermatitis
Mycosis fungoides
Pemphigus
Severe psoriasis

5. Allergic States

Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment:
Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis
Drug hypersensitivity reactions
Serum sickness
Contact dermatitis
Bronchial asthma
Atopic dermatitis

6. Ophthalmic Diseases

Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye and its adnexa such as: Allergic corneal marginal ulcers
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus
Anterior segment inflammation
Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis
Sympathetic ophthalmia
Keratitis
Optic neuritis
Allergic conjunctivitis
Chorioretinitis
Iritis and iridocyclitis

7. Respiratory Diseases

Symptomatic sarcoidosis
Berylliosis
Loeffler’s syndrome not manageable by other means
Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
Aspiration pneumonitis

8. Hematologic Disorders

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults
Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults
Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia
Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia)
Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia

9.  Neoplastic Diseases

For palliative management of:
Leukemias and lymphomas in adults
Acute leukemia of childhood

10. Edematous States

To induce a diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus.

11. Gastrointestinal Diseases

To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:
Ulcerative colitis
Regional enteritis

12. Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis

13. Miscellaneous

Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.
Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

The initial dosage of MEDROL Tablets may vary from 4 mg to 48 mg of methylprednisolone per day depending on the specific disease entity being treated. In situations of less severity lower doses will generally suffice while in selected patients higher initial doses may be required. The initial dosage should be maintained or adjusted until a satisfactory response is noted. If after a reasonable period of time there is a lack of satisfactory clinical response, MEDROL should be discontinued and the patient transferred to other appropriate therapy.

IT SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED THAT DOSAGE REQUIREMENTS ARE VARIABLE AND MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE DISEASE UNDER TREATMENT AND THE RESPONSE OF THE PATIENT. After a favorable response is noted, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial drug dosage in small decrements at appropriate time intervals until the lowest dosage which will maintain an adequate clinical response is reached. It should be kept in mind that constant monitoring is needed in regard to drug dosage. Included in the situations which may make dosage adjustments necessary are changes in clinical status secondary to remissions or exacerbations in the disease process, the patient’s individual drug responsiveness, and the effect of patient exposure to stressful situations not directly related to the disease entity under treatment; in this latter situation it may be necessary to increase the dosage of MEDROL for a period of time consistent with the patient’s condition. If after long-term therapy the drug is to be stopped, it is recommended that it be withdrawn gradually rather than abruptly.

Multiple Sclerosis

In treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis daily doses of 200 mg of prednisolone for a week followed by 80 mg every other day for 1 month have been shown to be effective (4 mg of methylprednisolone is equivalent to 5 mg of prednisolone).

ADT® (Alternate Day Therapy)

Alternate day therapy is a corticosteroid dosing regimen in which twice the usual daily dose of corticoid is administered every other morning. The purpose of this mode of therapy is to provide the patient requiring long-term pharmacologic dose treatment with the beneficial effects of corticoids while minimizing certain undesirable effects, including pituitary-adrenal suppression, the Cushingoid state, corticoid withdrawal symptoms, and growth suppression in children.

The rationale for this treatment schedule is based on two major premises: (a) the anti-inflammatory or therapeutic effect of corticoids persists longer than their physical presence and metabolic effects and (b) administration of the corticosteroid every other morning allows for reestablishment of more nearly normal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity on the off-steroid day.

A brief review of the HPA physiology may be helpful in understanding this rationale. Acting primarily through the hypothalamus a fall in free cortisol stimulates the pituitary gland to produce increasing amounts of corticotropin (ACTH) while a rise in free cortisol inhibits ACTH secretion. Normally the HPA system is characterized by diurnal (circadian) rhythm. Serum levels of ACTH rise from a low point about 10 pm to a peak level about 6 am. Increasing levels of ACTH stimulate adrenal cortical activity resulting in a rise in plasma cortisol with maximal levels occurring between 2 am and 8 am. This rise in cortisol dampens ACTH production and in turn adrenal cortical activity. There is a gradual fall in plasma corticoids during the day with lowest levels occurring about midnight.

The diurnal rhythm of the HPA axis is lost in Cushing’s disease, a syndrome of adrenal cortical hyperfunction characterized by obesity with centripetal fat distribution, thinning of the skin with easy bruisability, muscle wasting with weakness, hypertension, latent diabetes, osteoporosis, electrolyte imbalance, etc. The same clinical findings of hyperadrenocorticism may be noted during long-term pharmacologic dose corticoid therapy administered in conventional daily divided doses. It would appear, then, that a disturbance in the diurnal cycle with maintenance of elevated corticoid values during the night may play a significant role in the development of undesirable corticoid effects. Escape from these constantly elevated plasma levels for even short periods of time may be instrumental in protecting against undesirable pharmacologic effects.

During conventional pharmacologic dose corticosteroid therapy, ACTH production is inhibited with subsequent suppression of cortisol production by the adrenal cortex. Recovery time for normal HPA activity is variable depending upon the dose and duration of treatment. During this time the patient is vulnerable to any stressful situation. Although it has been shown that there is considerably less adrenal suppression following a single morning dose of prednisolone (10 mg) as opposed to a quarter of that dose administered every six hours, there is evidence that some suppressive effect on adrenal activity may be carried over into the following day when pharmacologic doses are used. Further, it has been shown that a single dose of certain corticosteroids will produce adrenal cortical suppression for two or more days. Other corticoids, including methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone, prednisone, and prednisolone, are considered to be short acting (producing adrenal cortical suppression for 1¼ to 1½ days following a single dose) and thus are recommended for alternate day therapy.

The following should be kept in mind when considering alternate day therapy:

Basic principles and indications for corticosteroid therapy should apply. The benefits of ADT should not encourage the indiscriminate use of steroids.

ADT is a therapeutic technique primarily designed for patients in whom long-term pharmacologic corticoid therapy is anticipated.

In less severe disease processes in which corticoid therapy is indicated, it may be possible to initiate treatment with ADT. More severe disease states usually will require daily divided high dose therapy for initial control of the disease process. The initial suppressive dose level should be continued until satisfactory clinical response is obtained, usually four to ten days in the case of many allergic and collagen diseases. It is important to keep the period of initial suppressive dose as brief as possible particularly when subsequent use of alternate day therapy is intended.
Once control has been established, two courses are available: (a) change to ADT and then gradually reduce the amount of corticoid given every other day or (b) following control of the disease process reduce the daily dose of corticoid to the lowest effective level as rapidly as possible and then change over to an alternate day schedule. Theoretically, course (a) may be preferable.

Because of the advantages of ADT, it may be desirable to try patients on this form of therapy who have been on daily corticoids for long periods of time (eg, patients with rheumatoid arthritis). Since these patients may already have a suppressed HPA axis, establishing them on ADT may be difficult and not always successful. However, it is recommended that regular attempts be made to change them over. It may be helpful to triple or even quadruple the daily maintenance dose and administer this every other day rather than just doubling the daily dose if difficulty is encountered. Once the patient is again controlled, an attempt should be made to reduce this dose to a minimum.

As indicated above, certain corticosteroids, because of their prolonged suppressive effect on adrenal activity, are not recommended for alternate day therapy (eg, dexamethasone and betamethasone).

The maximal activity of the adrenal cortex is between 2 am and 8 am, and it is minimal between 4 pm and midnight. Exogenous corticosteroids suppress adrenocortical activity the least, when given at the time of maximal activity (am).

In using ADT it is important, as in all therapeutic situations to individualize and tailor the therapy to each patient. Complete control of symptoms will not be possible in all patients. An explanation of the benefits of ADT will help the patient to understand and tolerate the possible flare-up in symptoms which may occur in the latter part of the off-steroid day. Other symptomatic therapy may be added or increased at this time if needed.

In the event of an acute flare-up of the disease process, it may be necessary to return to a full suppressive daily divided corticoid dose for control. Once control is again established alternate day therapy may be reinstituted.

Although many of the undesirable features of corticosteroid therapy can be minimized by ADT, as in any therapeutic situation, the physician must carefully weigh the benefit-risk ratio for each patient in whom corticoid therapy is being considered.

HOW SUPPLIED

MEDROL Tablets are available in the following strengths and package sizes:

2 mg (pink, elliptical, scored, imprinted MEDROL 2)
Bottles of 100                                   NDC 0009-0049-02

4 mg (white, elliptical, scored, imprinted MEDROL 4)
Bottles of 100                                   NDC 0009-0056-02
Bottles of 500                                   NDC 0009-0056-03
Unit dose packages of 100            NDC 0009-0056-05
DOSEPAK™ Unit of Use
(21 tablets)                                        NDC 0009-0056-04

8 mg (peach, elliptical, scored, imprinted MEDROL 8)
Bottles of 25                                     NDC 0009-0022-01

16 mg (white, elliptical, scored, imprinted MEDROL 16)
Bottles of 50                                     NDC 0009-0073-01

32 mg (peach, elliptical, scored, imprinted MEDROL 32)
Bottles of 25                                     NDC 0009-0176-01

Store at controlled room temperature 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F) [see USP].

Manufactured for: Pharmacia & Upjohn Company., A subsidiary of Pharmacia Corporation, Kalamazoo, MI 49001, USA
By: MOVA Pharmaceuticals., Manati, PR 00674
Revised May 2002
FDA rev date: 10/25/2002

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010

Medrol Side Effects & Drug Interactions

 

SIDE EFFECTS

Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances
Sodium retention
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
Hypertension
Fluid retention
Potassium loss
Hypokalemic alkalosis

Musculoskeletal
Muscle weakness
Loss of muscle mass
Steroid myopathy
Osteoporosis
Tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon
Vertebral compression fractures
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
Pathologic fracture of long bones

Gastrointestinal
Peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage
Pancreatitis
Abdominal distention
Ulcerative esophagitis
Increases in alanine transaminase (ALT, SGPT), aspartate transaminase (AST, SGOT), and alkaline phosphatase have been observed following corticosteroid treatment. These changes are usually small, not associated with any clinical syndrome and are reversible upon discontinuation.

Dermatologic
Impaired wound healingPetechiae and ecchymoses
May suppress reactions to skin tests
Thin fragile skin
Facial erythema
Increased sweating

Neurological
Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudo-tumor cerebri) usually after treatment
Convulsions
Vertigo
Headache

Endocrine
Development of Cushingoid state
Suppression of growth in children
Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness
Menstrual irregularities
Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
Increased requirements of insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics

Ophthalmic
Posterior subcapsular cataracts
Increased intraocular pressure
Glaucoma
Exophthalmos

Metabolic
Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism
The following additional reactions have been reported following oral as well as parenteral therapy: Urticaria and other allergic, anaphylactic or hypersensitivity reactions.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

The pharmacokinetic interactions listed below are potentially clinically important. Mutual inhibition of metabolism occurs with concurrent use of cyclosporin and methylprednisolone; therefore, it is possible that adverse events associated with the individual use of either drug may be more apt to occur. Convulsions have been reported with concurrent use of methylprednisolone and cyclosporin. Drugs that induce hepatic enzymes such as phenobarbital, phenytoin and rifampin may increase the clearance of methylprednisolone and may require increases in methylprednisolone dose to achieve the desired response. Drugs such as troleandomycin and ketoconazole may inhibit the metabolism of methylprednisolone and thus decrease its clearance. Therefore, the dose of methylprednisolone should be titrated to avoid steroid toxicity.

Methylprednisolone may increase the clearance of chronic high dose aspirin. This could lead to decreased salicylate serum levels or increase the risk of salicylate toxicity when methylprednisolone is withdrawn. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in patients suffering from hypoprothrombinemia.

The effect of methylprednisolone on oral anticoagulants is variable. There are reports of enhanced as well as diminished effects of anticoagulant when given concurrently with corticosteroids. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010

Medrol Warnings & Precautions

 

WARNINGS

In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during, and after the stressful situation is indicated.

Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. Infections with any pathogen including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic infections, in any location of the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents that affect cellular immunity, humoral immunity, or neutrophil function.1

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases.2 There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infec-tion when corticosteroids are used.

Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.

Usage in pregnancy: Since adequate human reproduction studies have not been done with corticosteroids, the use of these drugs in pregnancy, nursing mothers or women of child-bearing potential requires that the possible benefits of the drug be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and embryo or fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy, should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

Average and large doses of hydrocortisone or cortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered to patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids; however, the response to such vaccines may be diminished. Indicated immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients receiving nonimmunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids.

The use of MEDROL Tablets in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.

If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.

Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chicken pox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. In such children or adults who have not had these diseases particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route and duration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is not known. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed, to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pooled intramuscular immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered. Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.

PRECAUTIONS

General Precautions

Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should be administered concurrently.

There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids on patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis.

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex because of possible corneal perforation.

The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.

Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression, to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.

Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection; diverticulitis; fresh intestinal anastomoses; active or latent peptic ulcer; renal insufficiency; hypertension; osteoporosis; and myasthenia gravis.

Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should be carefully observed.

Kaposi’s sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical remission.

Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that corticosteroids affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treat-ment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.

REFERENCES

1 Fekety R. Infections associated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive therapy. In: Gorbach SL, Bartlett JG, Blacklow NR, eds. Infectious Diseases. Philadelphia: WBSaunders Company 1992:1050-1.

2 Stuck AE, Minder CE, Frey FJ. Risk of infectious compli-cations in patients taking glucocorticoids. Rev Infect Dis 1989:11(6):954-63.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010

Medrol Overdosage & Contraindications

 

OVERDOSE

No information provided.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Systemic fungal infections and known hypersensitivity to components.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010

Medrol Clinical Pharmacology

 

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

ACTIONS

Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone), which also have salt-retaining properties, are used as replacement therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs are primarily used for their potent anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems.

Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body’s immune responses to diverse stimuli.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010

Medrol Medication Guide

 

PATIENT INFORMATION

Persons who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010

Medrol Consumer

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your health care professional. Always seek the advice of your health care professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your health care professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you.

METHYLPREDNISOLONE – ORAL

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

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Medrol

USES: This medication is used to treat various conditions such as allergic disorders; arthritis; blood diseases; breathing problems; certain cancers; eye diseases; intestinal disorders; collagen and skin diseases. It decreases your body's immune response to these diseases and reduces symptoms such as swelling and redness. Methylprednisolone is a corticosteroid hormone (glucocorticoid).

This drug may also be used with other medications as a replacement for certain hormones.

HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth with food or milk, or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Dosage and duration of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to therapy.

If you are taking only one dose of this medication per day, it is best to take it in the morning before 9 a.m. If you are taking this medication every other day or on another schedule besides a daily one, it may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.

If you are using the methylprednisolone tapered dose pack, follow the dosing schedule and take it exactly as prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit juice may increase the amount of this medication in your body. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you have been taking this medication for a long time, do not suddenly stop it without your doctor's approval. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased to reduce symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, nausea, or extreme fatigue.

Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Medrol Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Stomach upset, headache, dizziness, menstrual period changes, trouble sleeping, or weight gain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

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.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: bone/joint pain, easy bruising/bleeding, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe stomach/abdominal pain, increased thirst/urination, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles/feet, persistent weight gain, puffy face, unusual hair growth, thinning skin, slow wound healing, signs of infection (e.g., persistent fever/cough/sore throat, painful urination, eye pain/discharge), muscle weakness/pain, mental/mood changes (e.g., mood swings, depression, agitation), vision changes, seizures, unusual skin growths.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: 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.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: untreated active fungal infections.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding problems, history of blood clots, brittle bones (osteoporosis), high blood pressure, certain heart problems (e.g., congestive heart failure), diabetes, certain eye diseases (e.g., cataracts, herpes infection, glaucoma), kidney disease, current infections (e.g., tuberculosis, threadworm), severe liver disease (cirrhosis), certain mental/mood conditions (e.g., psychosis, depression), seizures, stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., diverticulitis, ulcer, ulcerative colitis), underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), untreated mineral problems (e.g., low potassium or calcium).

This medication may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.

This medication may mask signs of infection or put you at greater risk of developing very serious infections. Report any injuries or signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat/cough/fever, pain during urination, muscle aches) that occur while taking this medication or within 12 months after stopping it.

If you have been on this medication for a long time, your body may not be able to make enough natural steroids while you are under stress due to infection, surgery or injury. Your dose may need to be adjusted. If you have stopped taking this drug within the past 12 months, you may need to start taking it again if your body is under severe stress. Consult your doctor for more details. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur: unusual weakness, sudden weight loss, dizziness.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have taken it within the last 12 months.

Do not have immunizations, vaccinations, or skin tests while you are using this drug unless specifically directed by your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine.

Avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles infection while taking this medication. If you are exposed to these infections, seek immediate medical attention.

If you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit alcoholic beverages while taking this drug. Alcohol may increase the risk of stomach/intestinal bleeding.

If you have diabetes, this drug may increase your blood sugar levels. Check your blood glucose levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as increased thirst and urination. Your anti-diabetic medication or diet may need to be adjusted.

Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about ways to prevent bone loss.

Caution is advised when using this drug in children. It may slow down a child's growth rate if given for long periods. Monitor your child's height and growth rate regularly. Consult your doctor for more details.

This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. There have been rare reports of harm to an unborn baby when corticosteroids are used during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have been using this medication for an extended time may have low levels of corticosteroid hormone. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn.

This medication passes into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Medrol Consumer (continued)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: (See also the How to Use section).

Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: live vaccines.

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting this drug.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially: aldesleukin, large doses of aspirin and aspirin-like drugs (salicylates), birth control pills, blood thinners (e.g., warfarin), bupropion, cyclosporine, drugs for diabetes, drugs that cause potassium loss (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide), estrogens, mifepristone, natalizumab, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as indomethacin, ibuprofen), drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove methylprednisolone from your body (e.g., aprepitant; azole antifungals such as ketoconazole; macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin; rifamycins such as rifampin; certain anti-seizure medications such as phenytoin and phenobarbital), herbal products (e.g., licorice).

Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen) that may increase the risk of stomach bleeding from this drug. Low-dose aspirin, as prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day), should be continued. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

This product may interfere with certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood counts, blood glucose/mineral levels, blood pressure, bone density tests, height/weight measurements, eye examinations, x-rays) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects during long-term therapy. Consult your doctor for more details.

Lifestyle changes that help reduce the risk of bone loss (osteoporosis) during long-term therapy include weight-bearing exercise, adequate calcium and vitamin D, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol. Discuss lifestyle changes that might benefit you with your doctor.

If you take this medication for prolonged periods, you should wear or carry identification stating that you are taking it.

MISSED DOSE: If you are using this medication once daily and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

If you are using the tapered dose pack or if you take this medication every other day, ask your doctor what you should do if you miss a dose.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information, call MedicAlert at 1-800-854- 1166 (USA) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).