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Medrol Dosepack (Medrol Dosepak) - What You Need to Know

Medrol Dosepack Must Be Taken According to Specific Instructions

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Updated April 09, 2014

Medrol (methylprednisolone) dosepak is a corticosteroid used to treat and control inflammation associated with arthritis and other conditions. Medrol is marketed by Pharmacia and Upjohn.

When is Medrol Dosepak Prescribed?

Medrol is used to quickly suppress inflammation. It is used to treat:

Medrol is also used to treat severe allergic reactions and chronic skin conditions.

Are There Any Special Instructions Regarding How to Take Medrol Dosepak?

Medrol is available as 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, and 32 mg tablets. Medrol is also available as an injectable solution: 20, 40, and 80 mg/ml. While Medrol can be prescribed at various daily doses or as alternate day therapy, the typical Medrol dosepak is marketed as 4 mg tablets given over 6 days in decreasing dosages. Directions for the Medrol dosepak are:
  • Day 1: 2 tablets before breakfast, 1 tablet after lunch, 1 tablet after dinner, 2 tablets at bedtime
  • Day 2: 1 tablet before breakfast, 1 tablet after lunch, 1 tablet after dinner, 2 tablets at bedtime
  • Day 3: 1 tablet before breakfast, 1 tablet after lunch, 1 tablet after dinner, 1 tablet at bedtime
  • Day 4: 1 tablet before breakfast, 1 tablet after lunch, 1 tablet at bedtime
  • Day 5: 1 tablet before breakfast, 1 tablet at bedtime
  • Day 6: 1 tablet before breakfast

Are There Patients Who Should Not Take Medrol Dosepak?

Patients who have fungal infections or known allergy to the components of Medrol should not take the medication.

Can Side Effects Occur With the Medrol Dosepak?

Side effects associated with Medrol are largely dependent on the dose and how often it is taken. Short courses of Medrol, as is the case with the Medrol dosepak, are usually well-tolerated with no or few mild side effects. Long-term or high-dose Medrol is more problematic.

What Special Warnings and Precautions Are Associated with Medrol Dosepak?

Patients should take the Medrol dosepak exactly as prescribed. The directions must be followed precisely. Patients should not stop taking the drug suddenly on their own. Call your doctor if you have side effects or problems that make you want to stop the drug before the 6-day course is finished.

Are There Drug Interactions Associated with Medrol Dosepak?

Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications and supplements you take. The following drugs may interact with Medrol (this is not an all-inclusive list):
  • blood thinners, such as Coumadin
  • arthritis medications, such as NSAIDs
  • aspirin
  • azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin)
  • diuretics (water pills)
  • estrogen (Premarin)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • oral contraceptives
  • phenobarbital
  • phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • rifampin (Rifadin)
  • theophylline (Theo-Dur)

Are There Special Instructions for Pregnant or Nursing Women?

Medrol has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Let your doctor know if you are planning to become pregnant or if you do become pregnant while taking Medrol.

Sources:

Medrol. RxMed Pharmaceutical Information. Accessed 4/13/2008.
http://www.rxmed.com/b.main/b2.pharmaceutical/b2.1.monographs/CPS-%20Monographs/CPS-%20(General%20Monographs-%20M)/MEDROL.html

Methylprednisolone Oral. MedlinePlus. Accessed 8/1/2007.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/medmaster/a682795.html

Medrol. DrugFinder. Accessed 4/13/2008.
http://drugsaz.about.com/od/drugs/medrol.htm

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