Medrol (Methylprednisolone)


Pharmacia & Upjohn



Indications And Clinical Uses: 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.

Nonendocrine Disorders: Rheumatic Disorders: As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in: psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy); ankylosing spondylitis; acute and subacute bursitis; acute nonspecific tenosynovitis; acute gouty arthritis; post-traumatic osteoarthritis; synovitis of osteoarthritis; epicondylitis.

Collagen Diseases: During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of: systemic lupus erythematosus; systemic dermatomyositis (polymyositis); acute rheumatic carditis; polymyalgia rheumatica; giant cell arteritis.

Dermatologic Diseases: pemphigus; bullous dermatitis herpetiformis; severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome); exfoliative dermatitis; mycosis fungoides; severe psoriasis; severe seborrheic dermatitis.

Allergic States: Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment: seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis; serum sickness; bronchial asthma; drug hypersensitivity reactions; contact dermatitis; atopic dermatitis.

Ophthalmic Diseases: Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye and its adenexa such as: allergic corneal marginal ulcers; herpes zoster ophthalmicus; anterior segment inflammation; diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis; sympathetic ophthalmia; allergic conjunctivitis; keratitis; chorioretinitis; optic neuritis; iritis and iridocyclitis.

Respiratory Diseases: symptomatic sarcoidosis; berylliosis; fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy; aspiration pneumonitis.

Hematologic Disorders: idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults; secondary thrombocytopenia in adults; acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia; erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia); congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia.

Neoplastic Diseases: For palliative management of: leukemias and lymphomas in adults; acute leukemia of childhood.

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.

Gastrointestinal Diseases: To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in: ulcerative colitis; regional enteritis.

Nervous System: acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; management of edema associated with brain tumor.

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

Organ Transplantation.

Contra-Indications: Systemic fungal infections; known hypersensitivity to methylprenisolone or the inactive ingredients in Medrol tablets. tag_WarningWarnings

Manufacturers’ Warnings In Clinical States: 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. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infections with any pathogen including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic infections, in any location in the body, may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents that affect cellular immunity, or neutrophil function. These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complication increases.

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. Allergic reactions (e.g., angioedema) may occur.

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 methylprednisolone 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.

There is no universal agreement on whether corticosteroids per se are responsible for peptic ulcers encountered during therapy; however, glucocorticoid therapy may mask the symptoms of peptic ulcer so that perforation or hemorrhage may occur without significant pain.

Osteoporosis is a common but infrequently recognized adverse effect associated with a long-term use of large doses of glucocorticoid.

Growth may be suppressed in children receiving long-term daily, divided dose glucocorticoid therapy and use of such regimen should be restricted to the most urgent indication. Alternate day glucocorticoid therapy usually avoids or minimizes this side effect.

Host defenses are impaired in patients receiving large doses of glucocorticoids and this effect increases susceptibility to fungus infections as well as bacterial and viral infections.

Pregnancy: Some animal studies have shown that corticosteroids, when administered to the mother at high doses, may cause fetal malformations. Adequate human reproductive studies have not been done with corticosteroids. Therefore, the use of this drug in pregnancy, nursing mothers, or women of childbearing potential requires that the benefits of the drug be carefully weighed against the potential risk to the mother and embryo or fetus. Since there is inadequate evidence of safety in human pregnancy, this drug should be used in pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Corticosteroids readily cross the placenta. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy must be carefully observed and evaluated for signs of adrenal insufficiency. There are no known effects of corticosteroids on labor and delivery.

Lactation: Corticosteroids are excreted in breast milk.

Precautions: Drug-induced 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 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.

Corticosteroids 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; or myasthenia gravis.

Because complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, 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.

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

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility: There is no evidence that corticosteroids are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or impair fertility.

Lactation: Corticoids are excreted in breast milk.

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 increase in methylprednisolone dose to achieve 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 ASA. This could lead to a decrease in salicylate serum levels or increase the risk of salicylate toxicity when methylprednisolone is withdrawn. ASA 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.

Adverse Reactions: Note: The following are typical for all systemic corticosteroids. Their inclusion in this list does not necessarily indicate that the specific event has been observed with this particular formulation.

Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: sodium retention; fluid retention; congestive heart failure in susceptible patients; potassium loss, hypokalemic alkalosis; hypertension.

Musculoskeletal: muscle weakness; steroid myopathy; osteoporosis; vertebral compression fractures; aseptic necrosis; pathologic fractures; loss of muscle mass; tendon rupture – particularly of the Achilles tendon.

Gastrointestinal: peptic ulceration with possible perforation and hemorrhage; gastric hemorrhage; pancreatitis; esophagitis; perforation of the bowel.

Dermatologic: impaired wound healing; thin fragile skin; petechiae and ecchymoses; facial erythema; increased sweating.

Metabolic: negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Neurological: increased intracranial pressure; pseudotumor cerebri; psychic derangements; seizures.

Endocrine: menstrual irregularities; development of Cushingoid state; suppression of pituitary/adrenal axis; decreased carbohydrate tolerance; manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus; increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes; suppression of growth in children.

Ophthalmic: posterior subcapsular cataracts; increased intraocular pressure; exophthalmos; glaucoma.

Immune System: masking of infections; latent infections becoming active; opportunistic infections; hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis; may suppress reactions to skin tests.

Increases in ALT, AST 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.

Dosage And Administration: The initial dosage of methylprednisolone may vary from 4 to 48 mg as methylprednisolone/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. Clinical situations in which high dose therapy may be indicated include multiple sclerosis (200 mg/day), cerebral edema (200 to 1 000 mg/day), and organ transplantation (up to 7 mg/kg/day). If after a reasonable period of time there is a lack of satisfactory clinical response, methylprednisolone should be discontinued and the patient transferred to other appropriate therapy. If after long-term therapy the drug is to be stopped, it is recommended that it be withdrawn gradually rather than abruptly.

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 methylprednisolone for a period of time consistent with the patient’s condition.

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.

ADT Alternate Day Therapy: Alternate day therapy is a corticosteroid dosing regimen in which twice the usual daily dose of corticosteroid is administered every other morning. The purpose of this mode of therapy is to provide a 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.

Directions for Medrol Dosepak:

1st day: 2 tablets before breakfast, 1 tablet after lunch and after supper, and 2 tablets at bedtime.

2nd day: 1 tablet before breakfast. 1 tablet after lunch and after supper, and 2 tablets at bedtime.

3rd day: 1 tablet before breakfast, after lunch, after supper and at bedtime.

4th day: 1 tablet before breakfast, after lunch and at bedtime.

5th day: 1 tablet before breakfast and at bedtime.

6th day: 1 tablet before breakfast.

Availability And Storage: 4 mg: Each white, elliptical, cross-scored tablet, engraved “Upjohn 56”, contains: methylprednisolone 4 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium stearate, cornstarch, lactose, mineral oil and sucrose. Gluten-free. Bottles of 100. Dosepack units of 21.

16 mg: Each white, elliptical, cross-scored tablet, engraved “Medrol 16”, contains: methylprednisolone 16 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: calcium stearate, cornstarch, lactose, mineral oil and sucrose. Gluten-free. Bottles of 100. (Shown in Product Recognition Section)

MEDROL® Pharmacia & Upjohn Methylprednisolone Glucocorticoid

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