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
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 103ºF), 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.
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.