Author Topic: prednisone vs. methylprednisolone  (Read 37095 times)


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prednisone vs. methylprednisolone
« on: October 14, 2011, 09:24:54 PM »
does anyone know what the difference is between these two meds?

Does anyone have a preference as to which one helps the most?


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Re: prednisone vs. methylprednisolone
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 08:58:35 AM »
Irish can you respond to this? I would like to have some information on this as my doctor wants me to switch from prednisone to the methylpred. I was given the explanation that the only difference was how the body breaks down the medicine but is basically the same.

does anyone else with medicine knowledge know of anything that would be helpful?


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Re: prednisone vs. methylprednisolone
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 09:31:07 AM »
The biggest difference is dosage. They are both primary glucocortoid steroids, and both do the same thing. They have different potencies, and many doctors find dosing and weaning easier based on different potencies.

The comparative potency is based on a standard of Cortisol being rated as 1 (one)...this is chemically the same as the steroid produced in our adrenals, so as close to biologic as possible. The differences are indeed caused by the way each drug is broken down or metabolized by the body, resulting in different "bioavailability".

Prednisone has a potency rating of 3.5 to 5, and Methylprednisolone has a potency rating of 5 to 7.5, so basically (using formulas I can never remember) 5 mg of Prednisone approximates 4 mg of Methylprednisolone.

The duration of action of Methylprednisolone is also slightly longer than that of Prednisone, 18 to 40 hours, compared to 16 to 36 hours.

As with any medication, "which helps the most" is highly individual, and it might be worth a try to see if it does help you more.
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Re: prednisone vs. methylprednisolone
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 09:56:20 AM »
I have no medical background so all I can tell you is how they affect me differently.  I have more side effects on prednisone.  After a taper I have to deal with low blood sugar.  I don't have high blood sugars or diabetes (been tested).  After medrol tapers, I don't have the low blood sugar issue.  The best explaination I've been given by an endocrinlogist is that medrol is the same as prednisone after the liver breaks the prednisone down.  For some reason my sugars get affected when my liver tries to break it down.
Depending on the dosage, you should be fine on either.  Just keep track of any side effects.
Take care and I hope you feel better.


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Re: prednisone vs. methylprednisolone
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 08:49:21 PM »
thank you Linda and tomsmom. Your information was very helpful.


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Re: prednisone vs. methylprednisolone
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 10:00:59 AM »
I went over this issue about a year ago....was on 10mg pred daily for 10 years. When I had a bad reaction to IVIG, my doc gave me
some medrol and I couldnt believe how much better I felt, even on a 4mg tablets (1 day). I never felt the 10mg of pred did anything.
I asked me doc to leave me on the medrol, in addition to the prednisone, so Im still taking it. Im taking 8mg of medrol, and 12mg of Pred still.
Prob is now I cant wean off, too sick and nothing else to take?

Some say there is no difference, but clearly there is..they are not the same medication...

52 years old.Primary SS, Lupus, Raynauds, POTS, Hormone issues from Hyster-menopause, systemic candida,osteoporosis,Gastroparesis, chronic neuropathy, migraines, sinus/dental issues. selective immune def/low t-cells.
Prednisone & medrol , plaquenil, diflucan, bio-estrogen creams,many supplements


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Re: prednisone vs. methylprednisolone
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 06:23:22 PM »
I have only taken prednisone by pill and methylprednisolone by IV for Multiple Sclerosis exacerbations.
Because I now have osteoperosis, I am reluctant to take either one unless absolutely necessary. Both drugs are very hard on the body and can have serious long term effects.