Depo-Medrol

methylprednisolone acetate
Consumer Medicine Information
 

NOTICE: This Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is intended for persons living in Australia. This page contains answers to some common questions about Depo-Medrol. It does not contain all the information that is known about Depo-Medrol. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you using this medicine against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you. If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Bookmark or print this page, you may need to read it again.

What DEPO-MEDROL is used for

DEPO-MEDROL is used to treat disorders of many organ systems such as skin, lung, eye, gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, joints and blood. DEPO-MEDROL works by reducing inflammation and changing the body's natural ability to respond when the immune response is not working properly. It is also used in certain conditions where the adrenal gland doesn't function correctly.
Your doctor may have prescribed DEPO-MEDROL for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why DEPO-MEDROL has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.

Before treatment with DEPO-MEDROL

Some information is provided below. However, always talk to your doctor if you have concerns or questions about your treatment.

When DEPO-MEDROL must not be used

DEPO-MEDROL must not be used:

1. if you have an allergy to:

methylprednisolone acetate
any of the other ingredients listed under Product Description at the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include skin rash, itching or difficulty in breathing.

2. if you have a severe fungal infection

3. it must not be injected into the spinal cord (intrathecal or epidural) or into a vein (intravenous)

4. it must not be given by any other unapproved route of administration

5. if you have been given a vaccine

6. if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering

7. after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the carton.

If you use it after the expiry date, it may have no effect at all, or an entirely unexpected effect.
If you are not sure whether you should be treated with DEPO-MEDROL, talk to your doctor.

Before treatment with DEPO-MEDROL

Before treatment with DEPO-MEDROL, tell your doctor if:

1. you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant

Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using DEPO-MEDROL during pregnancy.

2. you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using DEPO-MEDROL when breastfeeding.

3. you have allergies to any other medicines or any other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes.

4. you have or have had any of the following:

tuberculosis
underactive thyroid gland
kidney or liver disease
herpes in the eye
hypoprothrombinaemia (a clotting blood disorder)
ulcerative colitis (a disease of the bowel)
diverticulitis (swelling of the bowel wall)
stomach ulcers
diabetes
emotional problems or mental disorder
any pus-producing infection
problems with your heart, including high blood pressure or congestive heart failure
Cushing's disease (a hormone disorder)
seizure disorders e.g. epilepsy
myasthenia gravis (ongoing muscle weakness and chronic fatigue)
thin or weak bones, or bones that tend to break easily (osteoporosis).

Children

Long term treatment with corticosteroids can affect growth and development in children. It can also increase the risk of high pressure in the brain. Your doctor will monitor your child closely if your child needs long term treatment with DEPO-MEDROL.

Elderly

If you are over 65 years old, you may have an increased chance of side effects such as bone weakness possibly leading to fractures. You may also experience fluid retention which may lead to increased blood pressure.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, do so before you are treated with DEPO-MEDROL.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines or food and DEPO-MEDROL may interfere with each other. Some of these medicines and food include:
cyclosporin, cyclophosphamide, tacrolimus (medicines used to suppress the immune system e.g. after a transplant)
isoniazid (a medicine to treat tuberculosis)
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAID] including high dose aspirin (medicines used to reduce pain and inflammation)
some antifungals e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole
some antibiotics e.g. rifampicin, erythromycin, clarithromycin
phenobarbitone, phenytoin, carbamazepine (medicines used to treat epilepsy, convulsions)
oral anticoagulants e.g. warfarin
some vaccines
potassium-depleting diuretics e.g. frusemide, diuretics
neuromuscular blocking drugs (medicines that block nerve and muscle action) e.g. pancuronium
medicines used to treat myasthenia gravis (ongoing muscle weakness and chronic fatigue)
medicines used to treat diabetes
anti-nausea medicines e.g. aprepitant, fosaprepitant
medicines to treat HIV e.g. indinavir, ritonavir
diltiazem (a medicine that may be used to treat heart conditions and stroke)
oral contraceptives e.g. ethinyloestradiol, norethisterone
grapefruit juice
medicines used to treat breast cancer and hormone disorders.
These medicines and food may be affected by DEPO-MEDROL or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicine or you may need to take different medicines.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking DEPO-MEDROL.

Treatment with DEPO-MEDROL

This medicine will be administered under medical supervision.
It may be given into a muscle (intramuscularly) or into a joint (intra-articularly) or into a lesion (intralesional). Due to the risk of serious side effects, it must not be injected into the spinal cord (intrathecally or epidural) or into a vein (intravenously).
How and where DEPO-MEDROL is injected and the dose given will depend on the nature and the severity of your condition. You will be given a different dosage depending on your condition and how you react to the medicine.

If you are given too much (overdose)

Overdose is unlikely with DEPO-MEDROL. However, repeated frequent doses over a long period of time may cause an increase in side effects.
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency (Casualty) at your nearest hospital if you think that you or anyone else may have been given too much DEPO-MEDROL. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention. Keep the telephone numbers for these services handy. Have the DEPO-MEDROL box or this leaflet available to give details if needed.

While you are being treated with it

Things you must do

If you become pregnant while you are being treated with DEPO-MEDROL, tell your doctor.
If you are about to start taking any new medicines, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are being treated with DEPO-MEDROL.
Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are being treated with DEPO-MEDROL.
Tell your doctor that you are being treated with DEPO-MEDROL:
before having any skin tests
before having any kind of surgery
if you get a serious injury or infection.
Medicines such as DEPO-MEDROL can increase the risk of infection and mask symptoms of infection.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:
fever
tiredness
sore or swollen joints.
Your doctor may request you follow a low-salt diet and/or take potassium supplements.
If you are a diabetic, your need for insulin or glucose lowering medicines may increase while being treated with DEPO-MEDROL.
For patients having this medicine injected into their joints:
be careful not to put too much stress onto that joint for a while
ask your doctor how much you can move this joint while it is healing.
Your doctor may reduce the dose of DEPO-MEDROL gradually if you have been on long-term treatment.

Side effects

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you have any concerns while being treated with DEPO-MEDROL, even if you do not think the concerns are connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.
Like other medicines, DEPO-MEDROL can cause side effects If they occur, most are likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and it worries you:
nausea
vomiting
headache or dizziness
lightheadedness
forgetfulness
sleeplessness
mood changes e.g. over-excitement, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, anxiety
changes to menstrual periods
fluid retention
muscle weakness, pain or loss of muscle mass
problems with your joints, including pain
problems with your growth
thin fragile skin or bruising
itchy or peeling skin
increased sweating
facial redness
changes to skin at the injection site
rashes, acne, hives
diarrhoea or constipation
heartburn
increased appetite
loss of appetite or weight loss
persistent hiccups
tiredness.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following
bone weakness (can lead to fractures)
wounds that will not heal
loss in the control of your diabetes
red, purple or brown patches on your skin
problems with your back, including pain or weakness
loss of sensation or problems with your reflexes (slow or too fast)
bouts of anxiety and headaches, sweating, palpitations, dizziness, a feeling of weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dilated pupils and blurring vision, stomach pains, and raised blood pressure. These could be symptoms of a rare tumour of the adrenal gland, which sits near the kidney.
Tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following symptoms:
signs of increased pressure in the skull, including drowsiness, vomiting, headache, weakness, numbness and /or eye problems such as double vision
allergic type reactions e.g. skin rash, itching and difficulty breathing, wheezing or coughing, chest pain (anaphylactic reaction)
signs of infection such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
severe stomach pains
blurred or distorted vision or loss of vision, eye infections
breathlessness, fatigue and swelling (heart failure)
convulsions or fits
passing large amounts of urine, increased thirst and appetite.
DEPO-MEDROL can also cause chemical imbalances in the blood, swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis), masking of infections, increased risk of infection, hormone changes, metabolic changes and changes in liver enzymes, increased blood pressure or cataracts.
Some people may get other side effects while being treated with DEPO-MEDROL.
It is very important to tell your doctor if you notice any side effects while being treated with DEPO-MEDROL.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.

After treatment with DEPO-MEDROL

Storage

DEPO-MEDROL will normally be stored in a hospital or doctor's surgery. It should be stored in its original packaging in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C. It must not be frozen.

Product Description

What it looks like

DEPO-MEDROL is a suspension for injection packaged in a glass vial. It is supplied in cartons of 5 x 1 mL or 1 x 1 mL vials.

Ingredients

The active ingredient in DEPO-MEDROL is methylprednisolone acetate. Each vial contains 40 mg of methylprednisolone acetate.
DEPO-MEDROL also contains macrogol 3350, sodium chloride and miripirium chloride.

Identification

DEPO-MEDROL can be identified by the Australian Register Number, AUST R 12299, which is found on the carton label.

Supplier

DEPO-MEDROL is supplied in Australia by:
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 50 008 422 348
38-42 Wharf Road
West Ryde NSW 2114
Australia
Toll free number: 1800 675 229
This leaflet was revised in May 2014.
®Registered trademark
© Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd 2013