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What is A-Methapred (methylprednisolone injection)?
Methylprednisolone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Methylprednisolone is used to treat many different inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, allergic disorders, gland (endocrine) disorders, and conditions that affect the skin, eyes, lungs, stomach, nervous system, or blood cells.
Methylprednisolone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using A-Methapred (methylprednisolone injection)?
You should not use methylprednisolone if you are allergic to it, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body. Methylprednisolone injection should not be given to a premature baby.
Methylprednisolone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
To make sure methylprednisolone is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, high blood pressure;
cirrhosis or other liver disease;
past or present tuberculosis;
glaucoma or cataracts;
herpes infection of the eyes;
seizures, epilepsy or recent head injury;
stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, or recent intestinal surgery;
a parasite infection that causes diarrhea (pinworms, or threadworms);
a thyroid disorder;
osteoporosis or low bone mineral density (steroid medication can increase your risk of bone loss);
depression or mental illness;
a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis;
an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);
high levels of calcium in the blood related to cancer (also called hypercalcemia of malignancy);
if you use insulin or oral diabetes medication; or
if you take aspirin on a daily basis or at high doses.
It is not known whether methylprednisolone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether methylprednisolone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Steroids can affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medication.
Do not give this medicine to a child (especially a baby) without medical advice.
How is A-Methapred (methylprednisolone injection) given?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Methylprednisolone is injected into a muscle or soft tissue, into a skin lesion, into the space around a joint, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
If you have major surgery or a severe injury or infection, your methylprednisolone dose needs may change. Make sure any doctor caring for you knows you are using this medicine.
Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches).
You should not stop using methylprednisolone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you use methylprednisolone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you use steroid medication.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
An overdose of methylprednisolone is not expected to produce life threatening symptoms. However, long term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.
The following adverse reactions have been reported with methylprednisolone or other corticosteroids:
Allergic reactions: Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.
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, burning or tingling (especially in the perineal area, after intravenous injection), 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 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, 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. Arachnoiditis, meningitis, paraparesis/paraplegia, and sensory disturbances have occurred after intrathecal administration (see WARNINGS, Neurologic).
Ophthalmic: Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts, rare instances of blindness associated with periocular injections.
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.
A-Methapred Injection Dosage and Administration
NOTE: CONTAINS BENZYL ALCOHOL (see DESCRIPTION, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use)
Because of possible physical incompatibilities, A-METHAPRED™, should not be diluted or mixed with other solutions.
Use only Bacteriostatic Water For Injection with Benzyl Alcohol when reconstituting A-METHAPRED™. Use within 48 hours after mixing.
Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.
This preparation may be administered by intravenous injection, by intravenous infusion, or by intramuscular injection, the preferred method for initial emergency use being intravenous injection. Following the initial emergency period, consideration should be given to employing a longer acting injectable preparation or an oral preparation.
There are reports of cardiac arrhythmias and/or cardiac arrest following the rapid administration of large IV doses of methylprednisolone (greater than 0.5 gram administered over a period of less than 10 minutes). Bradycardia has been reported during or after the administration of large doses of methylprednisolone sodium succinate, and may be unrelated to the speed or duration of infusion.
When high dose therapy is desired, the recommended dose of A-METHAPRED™ Sterile Powder is 30 mg/kg administered intravenously over at least 30 minutes. This dose may be repeated every 4 to 6 hours for 48 hours.
In general, high dose corticosteroid therapy should be continued only until the patient’s condition has stabilized; usually not beyond 48 to 72 hours.
In other indications, initial dosage will vary from 10 to 40 mg of methylprednisolone depending on the specific disease entity being treated. However, in certain overwhelming, acute, life-threatening situations, administrations in dosages exceeding the usual dosages may be justified and may be in multiples of the oral dosages.
It Should Be Emphasized that Dosage Requirements are Variable and Must Be Individualized on the Basis of the Disease Under Treatment and the Response of the Patient. After a favorable response is noted, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial drug dosage in small decrements at appropriate time intervals until the lowest dosage which will maintain an adequate clinical response is reached. Situations which may make dosage adjustments necessary are changes in clinical status secondary to remissions or exacerbations in the disease process, the patient’s individual drug responsiveness, and the effect of patient exposure to stressful situations not directly related to the disease entity under treatment. In this latter situation, it may be necessary to increase the dosage of the corticosteroid for a period of time consistent with the patient’s condition. If after long-term therapy the drug is to be stopped, it is recommended that it be withdrawn gradually rather than abruptly.
A-METHAPRED™ may be administered by intravenous or intramuscular injection or by intravenous infusion, the preferred method for initial emergency use being intravenous injection. To administer by intravenous (or intramuscular) injection, prepare solution as directed. The desired dose may be administered intravenously over a period of several minutes.
To prepare solutions for intravenous infusion, first prepare the solution for injection as directed. This solution may then be added to indicated amounts of 5% dextrose in water, isotonic saline solution or 5% dextrose in isotonic saline solution.
In pediatric patients, the initial dose of methylprednisolone may vary depending on the specific disease entity being treated. The range of initial doses is 0.11 to 1.6 mg/kg/day in three or four divided doses (3.2 to 48 mg/m2bsa/day).
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommended dosing for systemic prednisone, prednisolone or methylprednisolone in pediatric patients whose asthma is uncontrolled by inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting bronchodilators is 1-2 mg/kg/day in single or divided doses. It is further recommended that short course, or “burst” therapy, be continued until the patient achieves a peak expiratory flow rate of 80% of his or her personal best or until symptoms resolve. This usually requires 3 to 10 days of treatment, although it can take longer. There is no evidence that tapering the dose after improvement will prevent a relapse.
Dosage may be reduced for infants and children but should be governed more by the severity of the condition and response of the patient than by age or size. It should not be less than 0.5 mg per kg every 24 hours.
Dosage must be decreased or discontinued gradually when the drug has been administered for more than a few days. If a period of spontaneous remission occurs in a chronic condition, treatment should be discontinued. Routine laboratory studies, such as urinalysis, two-hour postprandial blood sugar, determination of blood pressure and body weight, and a chest X-ray should be made at regular intervals during prolonged therapy. Upper GI X-rays are desirable in patients with an ulcer history or significant dyspepsia.
In treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, daily doses of 160 mg of methylprednisolone for a week followed by 64 mg every other day for 1 month have been shown to be effective (see PRECAUTIONS, Neurologic-psychiatric).
For the purpose of comparison, the following is the equivalent milligram dosage of the various glucocorticoids:
Cortisone, 25 Triamcinolone, 4
Hydrocortisone, 20 Paramethasone, 2
Prednisolone, 5 Betamethasone, 0.75
Prednisone, 5 Dexamethasone, 0.75
These dose relationships apply only to oral or intravenous administration of these compounds. When these substances or their derivatives are injected intramuscularly or into joint spaces, their relative properties may be greatly altered.
Directions for Reconstitution1. Remove protective cap. 2. Cleanse stopper with suitable germicide. 3. Aseptically add 1 mL Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP (with benzyl alcohol) for the 40 mg vial or 2 mL Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, USP (with benzyl alcohol) for the 125 mg vial. 4. Agitate to effect solution. 5. Invert vial. Insert needle through target area of stopper until tip is just visible. Withdraw dose.
Protect from light.
Store unreconstituted product at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.]
Store solution at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.]
Use solution within 48 hours after mixing.
How is A-Methapred Injection Supplied
A-METHAPRED™ sterile powder is available in the following packages:
10 x 10-1 mL
8 x 25-1 mL
10 x 10-2 mL
8 x 25-2 mL
Hospira, Inc., Lake Forest, IL 60045 USA
Nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, increased sweating, acne, or pain/redness/swelling at the injection site may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may make your blood sugar rise, which can cause or worsen diabetes. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. If you already have diabetes, check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This medication may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough, white patches in the mouth).
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unusual weight gain, menstrual period changes, bone/joint pain, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes (such as mood swings, depression, agitation), muscle weakness/pain, puffy face, slow wound healing, swelling of the ankles/feet/hands, thinning skin, unusual hair/skin growth, vision problems, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat.
This drug may rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. If you notice any of the following unlikely but serious side effects, consult your doctor or pharmacist right away: black/bloody stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures.
This medication may rarely cause serious liver problems. Tell your doctor right way if you experience: nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.List A-Methapred Solution, Reconstituted (Recon Soln) side effects by likelihood and severity.