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COPD is a progressive disease characterized by airflow obstruction or limitation. Emphysema is characterized by loss of elasticity of the lung tissue, destruction of structures supporting the alveoli and of capillaries feeding the alveoli. Both have symptoms that include shortness of breath, among other respiratory troubles. If you are a COPD or Emphysema sufferer, join the group and find support.

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Medrol (methylprednisolone)

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.

Replies

Sue825
Sue825

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hey Sandy. Medrol is the brand name, and methylprednisolone is the generic name. They are the same thing. Methylprednisolone is sold as Medrol, Depo-Medrol, and maybe by other names by various manufacturers. I'm not an expert, but this is my understanding. Anyone else have more info?
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hiya Mike,thanks for your reply.I've not looked into the side effects just enjoyed the relief.Hoping once they do a few tests, i'll be on the right meds to feel as good. Hope thats the case for you too :-)
deleted_user
deleted_user

Please be very careful with the use of Prednisone. I was diagnosed with COPD in 1999;
so I have a little experience. Prednisone makes you FEEL wonderful. It is a "wonder drug". The problem being the side effects can
be severe and long lasting. It should not be
used often or more than 10 days at a time.
I have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis. This is extremely crippling and
painful. This is a result of using drugs
like Prednisone. This is but one side effect:
bone loss. I am only 53; so having osteo; on top of Emphysema; and now heart tachycardia
and heart problems is NOT fun. Prednisone IS
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. This is why most doctors are very careful about prescribing it. Thanks and best wishes to all.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Sandy
Yes, they are the same. And also yes, you should check the side effects. Each person is different and so are there side effects. I don't know about your side of the pond, but in the US we get a list when we get our prescription. You can always check it out on http://www.webmd.com My Dr only perscribes "pred" for emergencies and flare-ups (which I just went through).

Hope you get rid of that blasted Hippo. I know how heavy he is..
Laurie
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Bluebird and Laurie,
Im due to see my Dr on Wednesday, and hope to sort out some tests.Its only been 6 mths for me,i've lots to learn.Im so glad to have found you all here.
Best wishes ,
Sandy x