Methylprednisolone

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: June 2023

Methylprednisolone is part of a group of drugs known as corticosteroids, which are sometimes used for asthma treatment. Methylprednisolone is typically used to help control sudden and severe asthma attacks. It is rarely used as a long-term asthma treatment.1-3

Methylprednisolone is available as an injection or a tablet. It is available as a generic drug, as well as the common brand names:1-3

  • Medrol®
  • Methylpred-DP®

How does methylprednisolone work?

Methylprednisolone is an anti-inflammatory. It suppresses the immune system. By blocking part of your body's immune response, it helps to decrease airway inflammation in asthma.1-3

What are the possible side effects?

Side effects can vary depending on the specific drug you are taking. The most common side effects of short-term methylprednisolone use include:1-3

  • Itching, hives
  • Upset stomach, vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weight gain, swelling
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Acne
  • Increased hair growth
  • Easy bruising
  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods

These are not all the possible side effects of methylprednisolone. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking methylprednisolone. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking methylprednisolone.

Other things to know

Before starting treatment with methylprednisolone, tell your doctor if you have:1-3

  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Eye problems, such as glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Infection, especially a viral infection like chickenpox, cold sores, or herpes
  • Liver disease
  • A mental health condition
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Seizures
  • Stomach or intestine problems
  • Thyroid problems

Do not get vaccines while taking methylprednisolone without your doctor's approval.1-3

Corticosteroids can weaken your immune system. This increases your risk of getting an infection or fighting an infection. Call your doctor if you show symptoms of an infection, such as:1-3

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Nausea and vomiting

For more information, read the full prescribing information of methylprednisolone tablets and methylprednisolone injections.

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