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Drug InfoNet Doctors' Answers to Frequently Asked Questions - Solumedrol

Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Solumedrol


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Solumedrol Dose Pack [posted 8/7/98]
Question: A few days ago I had an anaphylactic reaction to this medication (solumedrol dose pack). It was prescribed to me for folicullitis. I took three pills as directed the first day (after lunch) and within 5 minutes had an allergic reaction. My symptoms included shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, tightening of my throat, faintness, dizziness, tingling and numbing in hands, ears and face, tremors, altered sensorium, and a red rash over my chest and face. The paramedics arrived within three minutes after onset of these symptoms. Epinephrine was administered and the reaction was successfully reversed. I understand that this is a medication used frequently for treating allergic reactions and that it is not expected or documented to cause the problems I had. However, I am trying to discover the binding agents of this medication to determine exactly what may have caused this reaction. I know there is a large amount of lactose in this medication. I am not lactose intolerant, but I do have a milk allergy.

Answer: First, ensure your physician has filed an adverse reaction form. Secondly, I would have your physician contact the company (you can if he/she will not) - get the name of the manufacturer from your pharmacist, the telephone numbers of the drug companies are in the very front of the Physicians Desk Reference (which your doctor has and is available at most larger book stores).

Solumedrol [posted 8/6/98]
Question: I have MS and my doctor has suggested a course of 1000 mg of solumedrol for 7 days followed by oral tapering off of 80 mg, 70 mg, etc. The last time I did this 2 years ago I gained 60 lbs. I would like to know if this is a standard dosage, what side effects I can expect and if there are any way of lessening side effects either naturally or with other drugs? Would the use of potassium and Zantac be standard?

Answer: For treatment of MS flares we use large doses of steroids. This is based on clinical practice, not great research. However, it seems to works better than lower doses. The dose used is based on the physicians assessment of the severity and what has worked previously in your MS. Steroids generally accelerate the aging process. That is, they cause cataracts, osteoporosis, diabetes, muscle atrophy, etc., but there is no alternative. The only thing you can prevent is to take a drug for osteoporosis while you are taking steroids - Fosamax or Miacalcin. Some prefer Vitamin D and calcium, but research seems to favor the Fosamax. There are no known ways to block the weight gain.

Solumedrol
Question: What is Solumedrol and what is it used for treating?

Answer: Solumedrol or methylprednisolone is used in the treatment of various diseases. For example, allergic reactions, asthma, Collagen vascular diseases (lupus, etc.), Gastrointestinal diseases (Ulcerative Colitis and Chron's Disease), and various lung diseases etc.

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Last modified August 7, 1998






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