Difference between Prednisone and Methylprednisolone

February 13, 2017 by Editorial Team

Prednisone and methylprednisolone are two drugs that belong to a class of drugs used to treat the same kinds of illnesses. They are not the same, however, and this article seeks to establish the differences between these important drugs.

Definitions

Prednisone vs Methylprednisolone
Prednisone in oral tablet form

Prednisone is classified as a corticosteroid drug used to treat several inflammatory ailments such as moderate allergic reactions, certain autoimmune diseases, and even some cases of cancer. It is a steroid that can stop the release of substances in the body that cause swelling.

The usual dosage for adults is five to ten milligrams a day to treat ailments such as asthma, rheumatic disorders, Crohn’s disease, allergies, laryngitis, and ulcerative colitis, among others. People suffering from lupus, shingles, exposure to poison oak, and migraine headaches are also given Prednisone. This drug is also taken as part of a drug regimen for people who just had an organ transplant. It is a treatment drug for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is administered along with other anti-cancer drugs to fight off tumors.

Prednisone may cause short-term elevated blood sugar levels and fluid retention. It is also known to cause facial swelling, mental confusion, memory problems, and attention problems. In some cases, it can cause blurred vision, insomnia, abdominal pain, and painful shoulders and hips.

Prednisone comes in oral tablet and oral solution form. Its brand name is Rayos.

Methylprednisolone
Methylprednidolone in oral tablet form

Methylprednisolone is a steroid used to control inflammation and suppress the immune system. It is used to treat skin diseases, allergies, gland disorders, multiple sclerosis, asthma, certain cases of cancer, various eye, lung, and stomach conditions, and rheumatic diseases. It is also administered to patients who have medical conditions affecting their blood cells and nervous system.

The use of methylprednisolone over long periods and at high doses can significantly weaken the immune system, cause face swelling, weight gain, hyperglycemia, glaucoma, hypertension, osteoporosis, and even psychosis. It can also cause the adrenal glands to stop producing cortisol. Stopping the intake of the drug after this had happened can be fatal.

People taking methylprednisolone are strictly advised to avoid exposure to chicken pox and measles. Accidental exposure to these viral infections must be reported immediately to a health professional. Patients are also advised not to receive “live” vaccines while taking the drug. Patients with fungal infections anywhere in their body are strongly advised not to take methylprednisolone.

Several brand names for this drug are Depo-Medrol, Medrol, and Solu-Medrol. It comes as an injectable solution and an oral tablet.

Prednisone vs Methylprednisolone

So what’s the difference between Prednisone and Methylprednisolone? Both are generic names for drugs primarily used to decrease inflammation in the body. They are corticosteroids administered to people suffering from asthma, skin diseases, allergies, and arthritis, just to name a handful. The only areas where they can differ is in how they are marketed to the public. Rayos is a brand name for Prednisone, while Methylprednisilone is available as Solu-Medrol, Depo-Medrol, and Medrol. Both are offered as oral tablets, but Prednisone is also available as an oral solution while Methylprednisolone is also available as an injectable solution.

Comparison Chart

PrednisoneMethylprednisolone
Available as an oral solution and oral tabletAvailable as an injectable solution and as an oral tablet
Brand names: Solu-Medrol, Medrol, and Depo-MedrolBrand name: Rayo

Video

Here’s more in-depth information about Prednisone and Methylprednisolone.