Generic name: Medrol.

Medrol is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid. It works by stimulating the synthesis of enzymes needed to decrease the inflammatory response. 

Quick Facts About Medrol


Used to treat inflammation and improve symptoms of rheumatic arthritis, acute gouty arthritis, and severe asthma. Also used to treat primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency. Also prescribed to treat: severe allergic conditions, blood disorders, certain cancers, skin diseases, connective tissue diseases (lupus), digestive tract diseases (ulcerative colitis), high serum levels of calcium associated with cancer, fluid retention due to kidney damage, various eye diseases, lung diseases such as tuberculosis.

Medrol Dosage

Take as prescribed; may take every other day depending on condition for which you are being treated. To avoid upset stomach, take with food. Do not stop taking suddenly; should be gradually tapered off. Take single and alternate day doses in the morning with food.

  • Usual adult dose: 4 to 48 milligrams depending on condition for which you are being treated. Dose is decreased once a satisfactory response is achieved.
  • Usual child dose: follow doctor’s instructions.
  • Missed dose: for one daily dose — take as soon as possible, unless it is the next day. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses. For more than one dose per day — take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses. For alternate day dose — take dose if it is the same morning; go back to regular schedule. If it is the afternoon, skip the next morning; return to regular schedule.

Medrol Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

acid indigestion, excessive sweating, fatigue, muscle weakness, swelling of arms and legs, upset stomach. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal swelling; allergic reactions; bone fractures; bruising; congestive heart failure; cataracts; convulsions; Cushingoid symptoms (moon face, weight gain, high blood pressure, emotional disturbances, growth of facial hair in women); facial redness; fluid and salt retention; high blood pressure; increased eye pressure; increased sweating; increase in amounts of insulin or hypoglycemic medications needed; inflammation of upper digestive tract; inflammation of the pancreas; irregular menstruation; muscle wasting and weakness; poor healing of wounds; protrusion of eyes; stomach ulcer; suppression of growth in children; symptoms of diabetes; thin, fragile skin; tiny red or purplish skin spots; vertigo.

No known less common or rare Medrol side effects.


Inform your doctor before combining Medrol with:

aspirin; barbiturates such as phenobarbital; carbamazepine (Tegretol); cholestyramine (Questran); cyclosporine (Sandimmune); diuretics such as Lasix and HydroDIURIL; Estrogens such as Premarin; indomethacin (Indocin); insulin; ketoconazole (Nizoral); oral diabetes medications such as Glucotrol; phenytoin (Dilantin); rifampin (Rifadin). Avoid vaccinations and immunizations, especially in high doses; may prevent antibody production to build up immunities, causing nervous system problems. Aspirin use should be monitored if you have a blood-clotting disorder.

No known food/other substance interactions.

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. May appear in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant. Babies born to mothers taking steroids are at risk for adrenal problems. Prolonged use may slow growth and development of infants and children.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children.

  • Should not use if you have a fungal infection, or are sensitive to or allergic to steroids.
  • May experience lowered resistance to infections, or the drug may mask the signs of infection.
  • May alter your body’s reaction to unusual stress; higher dosage may be prescribed by your doctor. Higher dose may also be necessary if you are injured, need surgery, or develop an acute illness.
  • Ingredient used to color medication (tartrazine) has on rare occasions caused allergic reactions.
  • Ongoing use may cause cataracts, glaucoma, and eye infections.
  • High doses can cause: high blood pressure, salt and water retention, and potassium and calcium loss.
  • Dormant tuberculosis may be activated by Medrol. Your doctor should prescribe antituberculosis medication if taking Medrol for a prolonged period.
  • Use with caution if you have underactive thyroid, liver cirrhosis, or herpes simplex eye infection.
  • May cause or aggravate existing emotional problems; notify your doctor if you experience mood changes.
  • Use cautiously if you have diverticulitis or other intestinal disorders, high blood pressure, kidney disease, myasthenia gravis, osteoporosis, peptic ulcer, or ulcerative colitis.
  • Immediately inform your doctor if you are exposed to measles or chicken pox.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Medrol side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.