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Medrol (methylprednisolone)
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Hi all. I was hospitalized for 2 in early Feb with a severe asthma attack. Was given neb treatments and IV steriods. Was prescribed 4mg methylpredisolone 6-day dose pak and Flovent 44mg. The medrol seemed to work wonders. Within 3 days of being discharged I was walking over 2 miles/day. The airways felt like I was 25 again (I'm 56). Since, the breathing is ok, but nothing like with the medrol. Can't do the 2 miles. Has anyone had experience with Medrol, and has anyone used it over the long term? I'm aware of possible side effects including Addison's and glaucoma. Thanks for your comments.
Posted on 04/29/09, 05:42 pm
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Reply #1 - 04/30/09  12:18am
" Hi Mike, and welcome to DS! I'm glad you're here. The Medrol is another name for the Prednisone that you will see all of us talking about at times. It is the treatment of choice for severe asthma attacks or COPD exacerbations. That said, it's not something most of us want to take unless absolutely necessary. It really shouldnpt be used long term, for the reasons you mention and also a host of other side effects, such as weight gain and osteoporosis.

I have to ask, are you being seen by a pulmonologist? If not, I'd recommend that you find one, because you will need to be fully evaluated, to get as accurate a diagnosis as possible. You should have a Pulmonary Function Test, which will determine if indeed you have COPD and its severity. There are several other tests that the doctor can order too, but the PFT is the most helpful in the diagnosis. Then your doctor can put you on the proper medications, and give you lifestyle and exercise recommendations based on your situation. With a proper regimin, you might be able to do those 2 miles without the Medrol. Walking is so good for us COPDers, too!

One last think. I hope you don't smoke. If you do, try to quit! Then you will have a chance to improve your situation.

Gook luck, and let us know how you do. "
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Reply #2 - 04/30/09  9:27am
" They call it the "wonder drug". It is best kept as a short term treatment as the side effects are LONG term... thin skin, bone loss, glaucoma, etc.
If at some time, you must be on a long term treatment with medrol, ask for an every other day regimen from your doctor. Your body doesn't have a chance to shut down. "
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Reply #3 - 04/30/09  9:44am
" Sue and AZG, thanks for your replies. I have seen a pulmonary MD. He prescribed Advair 500. Going back in June and having lung function testing done. Had some done in the hospital and results were low, but he said it was affected by the recent flareup. He thinks it may be more asthma related than COPD, but not sure. I have smoked for 30+ years. Since leaving the hospital, I've not bought cigs, but have had a few per week. I consistently blow above 500 on the PFM (650 this morning) and have buried it out at 800 a few times. Used to have a lot of coughing after eating, but Nexium has stopped that completely. AZG, when you mention an "every other day regimen" of Medrol, what doseage are you referring to? The 6-day, 21 pill dos pak I took were 4 mg. tabs. Thanks again for your responses. "
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Reply #4 - 04/30/09  10:04am
" Methylprednisolone is Medrol(Medrol is the 6pk). I was on 60mg of Methylprednisolone for extended periods for 10years. The side effects last much longer..........
The good thing about the Medrol is the gradual reduction of the medicine. This is not one you stop cold turkey..... I was highly sensitive to it and took 6 months to stop. "
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Reply #5 - 04/30/09  10:54am
" AZG, when you were on the extended periods of 60 mg methylpred., was this 60 mg per day? In one dose? As you know, the Medrol dos pak is 21 - 4 mg pills over six days = 84 mg. Did you take the 60 mgs for weeks at a time? Months? Thanks. "
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Reply #6 - 04/30/09  12:30pm
" Yup! 6 10mg pills a day.......I was fighting systemic stuff all over my body and no one could diagnose me. First, I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis . This stuff disguises my symptoms ..... I finally in 88 was diagnosed with "whipples disease" - both diseases weakened my lungs. I also smoked but quit when I was ill. "
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Reply #7 - 04/30/09  2:22pm
" Hi Mike. Welcome to DS...I have COPD. Dr. gave me prednisone - six 10 mg pills for 2 days, then five 10 mg for 2 days, then four 10 mg for 2 days etc., etc. Pred does wonders for me. Dr. is against giving it to me except in emergencies because of all the side effects (and he says I like it to much..haha) I have a question about the PFM. You said you blew an 800? How high do they go? I have a PFM that I have to blow into twice a day. I thought I was doing GREAT yesterday, strutting around, shaking my head, yeah man. and I blew a 90! You burst my bubble for sure. LOL
Laurie "
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Reply #8 - 04/30/09  3:14pm
" Hi Laurie.

The PFM I have is an Airlife, and goes from 60 to 800 L/m. The two days I was in the hospital, I was getting nebulizer treatments 4x a day, and each time I'd have to blow into the PFM (which I took home) before and after treatments, I was doing between 200 and 240 in the hospital. According to the chart, a "normal male", 6' 8" tall and 35 yrs old should blow a 677. I'm 56 and 5' 5" tall. I took the 4 mg pills, 6 a day, then 5,4, etc., and they worked great. Just did it now while typing and blew a 500 and 550. According to the chart, I should be at 588, assuming I'm "normal". I'm not sure if all the PFM's are standardized. You'd think they would be, but this is the only one I've ever had. Thanks for your reply. "
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Reply #9 - 05/01/09  8:34am
" Hi again Mike. I have a Cardinal PFM. Luckily mine starts registering at 50. My bad days I have a hard time getting it to register at 51. Each blow kills me and I have to keep blowing until it registers. I have cheated (don't tell anyone) and used my inhaler to make it register.
I'm 54 and still smoking for right now, but I'm getting close to quitting. Don't get like me, give those cigarettes up. I'll support you all I can. Have a great day. Laurie "
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Reply #10 - 05/01/09  11:00am
" Hi folks,im a newbie, so i hope its ok to post here.I wanted to ask if Prednisolone is the same as Medrol.I've yet to have any tests other than x-ray and bloods,but have had a weeks course 5 times since November,usually along with Antibiotics if my chest is mucky.My dose is 6 x 5mg.Ive found it really helps get rid of the hippo sitting on my chest and my heart racing.Think i need to look into the side
effects. "

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