Methylprednisolone Injection

Name: Methylprednisolone Injection

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to methylprednisolone injection.

Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are using methylprednisolone injection.

If you are having any skin tests such as allergy or tuberculosis tests, tell the doctor or technician that you are receiving methylprednisolone injection.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about methylprednisolone injection.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Proper Use of methylprednisolone

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you methylprednisolone. methylprednisolone may be given through a needle placed in one of your veins, as a shot into a muscle or joint, or as a shot into a lesion on your skin.

Your doctor may give you a few doses of methylprednisolone until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.

methylprednisolone Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
  • Aggression
  • agitation
  • blurred vision
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • dizziness
  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • headache
  • mental depression
  • mood changes
  • noisy, rattling breathing
  • numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • pounding in the ears
  • swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • trouble thinking, speaking, or walking
  • troubled breathing at rest
  • weight gain
Rare
  • Cough
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach cramping and/or burning (severe)
  • abdominal or stomach pain
  • backache
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • dark urine
  • darkening of the skin
  • decrease in height
  • decreased vision
  • diarrhea
  • eye pain
  • eye tearing
  • general feeling of illness
  • general tiredness or weakness
  • facial hair growth in females
  • fainting
  • fever or chills
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fractures
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • full or round face, neck, or trunk
  • heartburn and/or indigestion (severe and continuous)
  • hoarseness
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of sexual desire or ability
  • lower back or side pain
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle pain or tenderness
  • muscle wasting or weakness
  • nausea
  • pain in the back, ribs, arms, or legs
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sore throat
  • sweating
  • trouble healing
  • trouble sleeping
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • vision changes
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds
  • yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Increased appetite
Incidence not known
  • Abnormal fat deposits on the face, neck, and trunk
  • acne
  • dry scalp
  • lightening of normal skin color
  • pain, redness, or hard skin at the injection site
  • pitting or depression of the skin at the injection site
  • red face
  • reddish purple lines on the arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin
  • swelling of the stomach area
  • thinning of the scalp hair

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How is this medicine (Methylprednisolone Injection) best taken?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot.
  • If you have been taking methylprednisolone injection for many weeks, talk with your doctor before stopping. You may want to slowly stop this medicine.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
  • Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, more thirst, more hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
  • Signs of Cushing's disease like weight gain in the upper back or belly, moon face, very bad headache, or slow healing.
  • Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a very bad upset stomach or throwing up, very bad dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, not hungry, or weight loss.
  • Signs of low potassium levels like muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling very tired, weak, or touchy; trembling; having a fast heartbeat, confusion, sweating, or dizziness if you missed a dose or recently stopped methylprednisolone injection.
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Skin changes (pimples, stretch marks, slow healing, hair growth).
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Period (menstrual) changes.
  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Change in the way you act.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Seizures.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.

What are some other side effects of Methylprednisolone Injection?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Restlessness.
  • Sweating a lot.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Contraindications

Methylprednisolone acetate injectable suspension is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to the product and its constituents.

Intramuscular corticosteroid preparations are contraindicated for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Methylprednisolone acetate injectable suspension is contraindicated for intrathecal administration. Reports of severe medical events have been associated with this route of administration.

Methylprednisolone acetate injectable suspension is contraindicated for use in premature infants because the formulation contains benzyl alcohol. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use.)

Methylprednisolone acetate injectable suspension is contraindicated in systemic fungal infections, except when administered as an intra-articular injection for localized joint conditions (see WARNINGS, Infections, Fungal Infections).

Precautions

General

When multidose vials are used, special care to prevent contamination of the contents is essential. A povidone-iodine solution or similar product is recommended to cleanse the vial top prior to aspiration of contents. (See WARNINGS.)

This product, like many other steroid formulations, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to sterilize the outside of the vial.

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

Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and 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, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.

Cardio-renal

As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal insufficiency.

Endocrine

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.

Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.

Gastrointestinal

Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and non-specific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of a perforation.

Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.

There is an enhanced effect due to decreased metabolism of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.

Parenteral Administration

Intra-articular injected corticosteroids may be systemically absorbed.

Appropriate examination of any joint fluid is necessary to exclude a septic process.

A marked increase in pain associated by local swelling, further restriction of joint motion, fever, and malaise are suggestive of septic arthritis. If this complication occurs and the diagnosis of sepsis is confirmed, appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be instituted.

Injection of a steroid into an infected site is to be avoided. Local injection of a steroid into a previously infected joint is not usually recommended.

Musculoskeletal

Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (e.g., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Neuro-psychiatric

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.)

An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.

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.

Ophthalmic

Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks, intraocular pressure should be monitored.

Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex for fear of corneal perforation.

Information for the Patient

Patients should be warned not to discontinue the use of corticosteroids abruptly or without medical supervision, to advise any medical attendants that they are taking corticosteroids, and to seek medical advice at once should they develop fever or other signs of infection.

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

Drug Interactions

Aminoglutethimide

Aminoglutethimide may lead to a loss of corticosteroid-induced adrenal suppression.

Amphotericin B Injection and Potassium-Depleting Agents

When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure.

Antibiotics

Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance (see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions, Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors).

Anticholinesterases

Concomitant use of anticholinesterase agents and corticosteroids may produce severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis. If possible, anticholinesterase agents should be withdrawn at least 24 hours before initiating corticosteroid therapy.

Anticoagulants, Oral

Coadministration of corticosteroids and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin, although there have been some conflicting reports. Therefore, coagulation indices should be monitored frequently to maintain the desired anticoagulant effect.

Antidiabetics

Because corticosteroids may increase blood glucose concentrations, dosage adjustments of antidiabetic agents may be required.

Antitubercular Drugs

Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.

Cholestyramine

Cholestyramine may increase the clearance of oral corticosteroids.

Cyclosporine

Increased activity of both cyclosporine and corticosteroids may occur when the two are used concurrently. Convulsions have been reported with concurrent use.

Digitalis Glycosides

Patients on digitalis glycosides may be at increased risk of arrhythmias due to hypokalemia.

Estrogens, Including Oral Contraceptives

Estrogens may decrease the hepatic metabolism of certain corticosteroids, thereby increasing their effect.

Hepatic Enzyme Inducers (e.g., Barbiturates, Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Rifampin)

Drugs which induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme activity may enhance the metabolism of corticosteroids and require that the dosage of the corticosteroid be increased.

Hepatic Enzyme Inhibitors (e.g., Ketoconazole, Macrolide Antibiotics such as Erythromycin and Troleandomycin)

Drugs which inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.

Ketoconazole

Ketoconazole has been reported to significantly decrease the metabolism of certain corticosteroids by up to 60%, leading to an increased risk of corticosteroid side effects.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Concomitant use of aspirin (or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents) and corticosteroids increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with concurrent use of corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. The clearance of salicylates may be increased with concurrent use of corticosteroids.

Skin Tests

Corticosteroids may suppress reactions to skin tests.

Vaccines

Patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy may exhibit a diminished response to toxoids and live or attenuated vaccines due to inhibition of antibody response. Corticosteroids may also potentiate the replication of some organisms contained in live attenuated vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until corticosteroid therapy is discontinued if possible (see WARNINGS, Infections,Vaccinations).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.

Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.

Corticosteroids have been shown to impair fertility in male rats.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category C

Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.

This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative.
Benzyl alcohol can cross the placenta. See PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use.

Nursing Mothers

Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to continue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

This product contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol, a component of this product, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The "gasping syndrome" (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping respirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages > 99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth-weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Although normal therapeutic doses of this product ordinarily delivers amounts of benzyl alcohol that are substantially lower than those reported in association with the "gasping syndrome", the minimum amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. The risk of benzyl alcohol toxicity depends on the quantity administered and the hepatic capacity to detoxify the chemical. Premature and low-birth-weight infants, as well as patients receiving high dosages, may be more likely to develop toxicity. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.

The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids, which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephritic syndrome (patients >2 years of age) and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias (patients >1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids (e.g., severe asthma and wheezing) are based on adequate and well-controlled clinical trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.

The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse reactions have been reported with methylprednisolone acetate injectable suspension or other corticosteroids:

Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.

Blood and lymphatic system disorders: Leukocytosis.

Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.

Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, cutaneous and subcutaneous atrophy, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.

Endocrine: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.

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

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, bowel/bladder dysfunction (after intrathecal administration), elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible subsequent perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.

Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, calcinosis (following intra-articular or intralesional use), Charcot-like arthropathy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare (following intra-articular use), steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.

Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.

Ophthalmic: Exophthalmoses, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.

Other: Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, injection site infections following non-sterile administration (see WARNINGS), malaise, moon face, weight gain.

The following adverse reactions have been reported with the following routes of administration:

Intrathecal/Epidural: Arachnoiditis, bowel/bladder dysfunction, headache, meningitis, parapareisis/paraplegia, seizures, sensory disturbances.

Intranasal: Allergic reactions, rhinitis, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.

Ophthalmic: Increased intraocular pressure, infection, ocular and periocular inflammation including allergic reactions, residue or slough at injection site, temporary/permanent visual impairment including blindness.

Miscellaneous injection sites (scalp, tonsillar fauces, sphenopalatine ganglion): Blindness.

Overdosage

Treatment of acute overdosage is by supportive and symptomatic therapy. For chronic overdosage in the face of severe disease requiring continuous steroid therapy, the dosage of the corticosteroid may be reduced only temporarily, or alternate day treatment may be introduced.

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