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Methylprednisolone

Methylprednisolone by Greenstone LLC

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Methylprednisolone

Trade Names:
Medrol®

General Description:

Methylprednisolone is an anti-inflammatory agent used to treat many inflammatory, autoimmune and allergy conditions and many other diseases. For use in both dogs and cats.

What is this drug?
• A long-acting anti-inflammatory synthetic glucocorticoid
• Has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties
• Given by mouth or as an injection by your veterinarian (may be repeated every few weeks)

Reasons for prescribing:
• Used to treat many conditions including allergies, inflammation, colitis, various endocrine, kidney and dermatologic conditions, ophthalmic and respiratory diseases
• Used to treat some cancers, anemias and auto-immune diseases

What dogs/cats should not take this medication?
• Animals with a systemic fungal infection
• Animals with some types of mange (mites)
• Injectable methylprednisolone should not be given to pets with low platelets nor injected into infected joints or other infected areas
• Pets with stomach ulcers, corneal ulcers, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, liver and kidney disease or congestive heart failure
• Pets with serious bacterial or viral infections
• Pets with Cushing's disease should only receive this medication during very stressful events
• Do not use in pregnant animals or in breeding males
• Use with caution in very young animals and diabetics
• If your pet has had an allergic reaction to methylprednisolone or other glucocorticoids

Directions:

Read and follow the label carefully.

Oral forms: Give oral forms with food to reduce the chance of stomach ulcers.

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. If given just once daily, dogs usually receive glucocorticoid drugs in the morning, and cats receive it in the evening (this mimics their natural hormone cycles).

Your pet may start at a high dose and then have it reduced. Methylprednisolone may be prescribed for several weeks or even months. Individualization of dosage and duration of treatment will depend upon your pet's reaction to this drug.

It is important that the dose be tapered to an every other day schedule once the condition is controlled and the body can start to make its own cortisol again. Do not discontinue the drug abruptly.

Periodic blood work to monitor this drug's effect may be required if your pet is undergoing long- term therapy.

Ensure your pet has fresh, clean drinking water at all times.

Call ahead for refills.

What if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:
• When will your pet need to be rechecked
• What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
• What are the risks and benefits of using this drug

Tell your veterinarian about:
• If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
• If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
• If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
• If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
• All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medicines can be given together.
• If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet

Storage and Warnings:

Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Not for human use.

Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Potential side effects:
• Most common side effects are increased thirst, appetite and urination. Your pet may have accidents and need to go outside or use the litter box more frequently. Discuss these side effects with your veterinarian as the dose may be lowered or another steroid could be selected.
• Less serious side effects include weight gain, insomnia, stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue or dizziness, muscle weakness or joint pain, problems with diabetes control
• Rare side effects include cataracts, glaucoma or behavior changes
• May stunt growth if used in young, growing animals
• If your pet has received high doses, it should not be vaccinated without your veterinarian's advice as the vaccine may not work or it may actually give your pet the disease you are trying to prevent
• Glucocorticoid drugs may lead to immune system suppression, making your pet more susceptible to infections. Contact your veterinarian if your pet has a fever (over 103°F), painful or frequent urination, fatigue, sneezing, coughing or runny eyes.
• Long-term therapy in some animals may cause Cushing's disease. Typical signs include weakness, muscle loss, darkened thin skin, poor hair coat and a 'pot belly'. Monitoring tests or changing therapy may be recommended.
• Some pets become aggressive while on methylprednisolone
• If these symptoms persist or you notice anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian

Can this drug be given with other drugs?
• Yes, but possible interactions may occur with anticholinesterase agents, amphotericin B, cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, digitalis glycosides, erythromycin, furosemide, insulin, mitotane, NSAIDS (aspirin, carprofen, deracoxib, etc.), phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampin and some vaccines.
• If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian.

Overdosing?

Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet receives more than the prescribed amount.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, methylprednisolone should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

This is just a summary of information about methylprednisolone. If you have any questions or concerns about methylprednisolone or the condition it was prescribed for, contact your veterinarian.
 

Corticosteroids
(Prednisone, Triamcinolone, Dexamethasone)

Common Generic & Brand Names
Prednisolone: Solu-Delta-Cortef  Prednisone: Meticorten, Sterapred Dexamethasone: Azium, Decadron Methylprednisolone: Depo-Medrol; Medrol Triamcinolone: Cortalone, Vetalog
Corticosteroids are also referred to as glucocorticosteroids, glucocorticoids, or sometimes simply as steroids.

Storage
Store at room temperature, in tight, light resistant, childproof container.

Uses
Corticosteroids are hormones used for the treatment of multiple conditions including adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease); inflammation; autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, pemphigus, and some anemias; allergies including atopy; asthma; some cancers; and certain types of colitis and kidney diseases (nephrotic syndrome). 

Dose and Administration
Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulties giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.  
Dosage depends on the product used. Your veterinarian may recommend starting at a higher dose and then reducing the dose every few days to a week.
If using the transdermal gel, apply to the skin as directed by your veterinarian.
If using an injectable form, use a new, sterile needle and syringe each time, and follow the proper technique, as directed by your veterinarian. Dispose of the needle and syringe according to local regulations.
If you miss a dose, contact your veteri­narian to determine the next dose.
This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.

Possible Side Effects
Side effects are usually dose dependent. If side effects occur, contact your veteri­narian, who may decrease the dosage, frequency, or type of corticosteroid.
The most common side effects are increased appetite, drinking, and urination. Your pet may have more “accidents” and need to go outside or use the litter box more often.
Less common side effects include weight gain, panting, diarrhea, vomiting, and behavior changes.
Side effects of long-term use include muscle loss, weakness, and the develop­ment of diabetes or hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease). The typical signs of these diseases are increased thirst, urination, and appetite. Animals with Cushing's disease may also develop thin skin, a poor hair coat, and a “pot-belly.” Activation or worsening of hypothyroidism or pancreatis.
Immune system suppression may occur, especially on higher doses, making a pet more susceptible to infection. Contact your veterinarian if your pet has a fever (over 103° F), painful urination (a sign of urinary tract infection), tiredness, sneezing, coughing, or runny eyes.

Precautions
Not for use in animals with systemic fungal infections, some types of mange (mites), stomach ulcers, Cushing's disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, or congestive heart failure.
Do not use in pregnant animals. May cause premature birth. Can cause birth defects in dogs, rabbits, and rodents.
If on long-term therapy, do not discontinue the drug abruptly. The dose needs to be tapered off over several weeks to allow the body to start making its own cortisol again.
May need to give additional steroids while tapering, if the animal is stressed.
May stunt growth if used in young, growing animals.
Consult with your veterinarian regarding the physical examinations and laboratory testing necessary prior to and during treatment with corticosteroids. 

Drug, Food, and Test Interactions 
Consult your veterinarian before using corticosteroids with vitamins and supplements, non-steroidal anti­inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), deracoxib (Deramaxx), etodolac (EtoGesic), meloxicam (Metacam),firocoxib (Previcox), tepoxalin (Zubrin); insulin, modified live vaccines, phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin, cyclosporine, estrogens, erythromycin, or mitotane, amphotericin B, furosemide, or thiazide, since interactions may occur.
Corticosteroids may cause abnormal levels of hepatic enzymes, thyroid hormone, cholesterol, and potassium in the blood, and can affect many laboratory tests. Make sure your veterinarian knows your pet is taking corticosteroids prior to testing.

Signs of Toxicity/Overdose
An acute overdose is unlikely to cause problems. A chronic overdose is likely to cause signs of Cushing's disease or diabetes mellitus; both diseases commonly cause increased urinating, drinking, and eating. Abruptly stopping long-term treatment may cause signs of Addison's disease, including vomiting, weakness, collapse and sudden death.
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, or if you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

This information may not cover all possible uses, directions, side effects, precautions, allergic reactions, drug interactions, or withdrawal times.  Always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.


 

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