Methylprednisolone Alphapharm

contains the active ingredient methylprednisolone sodium succinate
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 Methylprednisolone Alphapharm. It does not contain all the information that is known about Methylprednisolone Alphapharm. 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 Methylprednisolone Alphapharm is used for

Methylprednisolone Alphapharm is used for the treatment of one or more of the following:
skin diseases
allergic reactions
inflammation of the eyes
respiratory diseases and certain respiratory infections
diseases of the gut (gastrointestinal tract)
multiple sclerosis
rheumatic disorders
diseases of the blood
treatment of certain glandular conditions
Methylprednisolone sodium succinate, the active ingredient in Methylprednisolone Alphapharm, belongs to a group of medicines called corticosteroids.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm acts in the body by reducing inflammation (pain, swelling, redness and heat), which is one of the body's reactions to injury, and by reducing the body's reaction to infection.
Your doctor may have prescribed Methylprednisolone Alphapharm for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm is available only with a doctor's prescription.
There is no evidence that Methylprednisolone Alphapharm is addictive.

Before you start treatment with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm

When you must not take it

Do not take Methylprednisolone Alphapharm if:
you have an allergy to any medicine containing methylprednisolone
you have an allergy to any ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
rash, itching or hives on the skin
Do not start treatment with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm if you have a severe fungal infection.
Your doctor will advise you whether use of Methylprednisolone Alphapharm is appropriate in those particular circumstances.
Tell your doctor if you have recently been vaccinated or immunised.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm must not be used with certain types of vaccines.
Your doctor will advise you whether use of Methylprednisolone is appropriate in those particular circumstances.
Do not administer Methylprednisolone Alphapharm in the spinal cord (intrathecal or epidural) or by local injection due to the risk of serious side effects.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm must be administered by intravenous or intramuscular injection.
Do not administer this medicine to yourself.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start treatment with this medicine, talk to your doctor.

Before you start treatment with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm

Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
disease of the heart (e.g. high blood pressure (hypertension) or congestive heart failure
condition or tumour of the adrenal glands and/or pituitary glands
stomach ulcers
thin or weak bones, or bones that tend to break easily (osteoporosis)
kidney or liver disease
underactive thyroid gland
emotional and mental disorder
myasthenia gravis (ongoing chronic fatigue and muscle weakness)
tuberculosis (TB)
herpes simplex of the eye
ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis (disease of the bowel)
recent head injuries
suffers or have previously suffered from fits or convulsions
diabetes or increased sugar in your blood.
If you are scheduled to have any laboratory tests (e.g. blood or urine), tell your doctor that you are being treated with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
The use of Methylprednisolone Alphapharm may disguise the signs of infections due to a decrease in the body's response to the infection. If you are in any doubt please consult your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Methylprednisolone Alphapharm may interfere with each other. These include:
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory such as salicylates or aspirin, medicines used to relieve pain, swelling and other symptoms of inflammation including arthritis.
neuromuscular blocking drugs, e.g. pancuronium
some antibiotics, e.g., erythromycin
medicines used to treat TB, e.g. isoniazid
some anti-fungal agents, e.g., ketoconazole, amphotericin
medicines to treat HIV, e.g., indinavir, ritonavir
some medicines to treat blood pressure, heart conditions and stroke, e.g., digoxin and diltiazem
some diuretics e.g., frusemide, a medicine to help kidneys get rid of salt and water by increasing the amount of urine produced
medicine for nausea, e.g. aprepitant, fosaprepitant
oral contraceptives
medicines used for myasthenia gravis , glaucoma , Alzheimer's disease
medicines for psychiatric disorders
medicines to treat anxiety
bronchodilators (a type of medicine that opens up the airways in the lungs) used to treat asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases, e.g. salbutamol
medicines to treat breast cancer or hormone disorder
anticonvulsants e.g., phenytoin, phenobarbitone
anticoagulants e.g., heparin, warfarin
antidiabetic medicines e.g., insulin, glibenclamide and metformin
immunosuppressants e.g. methotrexate and cyclosporin (a medicine used in kidney transplant patients)
some immunisations, inoculations or vaccinations
grapefruit juice.
You may need different amounts of Methylprednisolone Alphapharm or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor can tell you what to do if you are taking any of these medicines.
If you are not sure whether you are taking any of these medicines, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.

How to use Methylprednisolone Alphapharm

This medicine will be administered under medical supervision.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm must be administered by injection (intravenous or intramuscular). It must not be given intrathecally, epidurally or by local injection due to the risk of serious side effects.
Do not administer this medicine to yourself.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm powder is reconstituted with Sterile Water for Injections by your doctor or pharmacist.

How much to use

The dose and frequency of Methylprednisolone Alphapharm that your doctor prescribes for you depends on your medical condition and also on your weight. Your doctor may change the dose and how many times a day you have it, as your condition changes.

How long to use it

Your doctor will continue giving you Methylprednisolone Alphapharm for as long as your condition requires.

If you are given too much (overdose)

Your doctor will ensure that you receive the correct dose of Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
You must not administer this medicine to yourself.
Overdose is unlikely with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm. However, repeated frequent doses over a long period of time may cause an increase in side effects.
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Methylprednisolone Alphapharm. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.

While you are being treated with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm

Things you must do

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms.
Before starting any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are being treated with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
If you have become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
If you are about to have any blood test, tell your doctor that you are taking Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
It may interfere with some of the results.
Keep all your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked.

Things to be careful of

Avoid drinking grapefruit juice while you are being treated with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
Grapefruit may interact with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm and affect the way your body uses the medicine.
Be careful when driving or operating machinery until you know how
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm affects you. Methylprednisolone Alphapharm may cause dizziness, light headedness, visual disturbances, and fatigue in some patients. If you have any of these symptoms do not drive or operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Methylprednisolone Alphapharm.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm helps most people and is usually well tolerated, but may have unwanted side effects in some people. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
If your children have started on Methylprednisolone Alphapharm, they may have a reduced rate of growth so your doctor may also monitor your child's height from time to time when on long term therapy.
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.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
weight gain as a result of fluid retention or increased appetite
muscle weakness or loss of muscle mass
bone weakness possibly leading to fractures
loss of ability to feel pain in the joint and instability of the joint
pain when putting weight or pressure on a joint
increased sweating
headache or dizziness
light headedness
changes in your menstrual periods
mood changes and other mental disorders such as memory loss, reduced perception and problem solving abilities
nausea and vomiting
itchy or peeling skin
loss of appetite or weight loss
thin fragile skin or bruising
acne
facial redness or bands, stripes or lines on the skin
red, purple or brown patches on your skin
excessive hairiness, particularly in women
benign tumour like lumps as a result of fat deposits in the tissues
wounds that will not heal
persistent hiccups
stomach pain or discomfort
diarrhoea
fatigue or generally feeling unwell
pain, redness at the injection site.
If these effects do not go away, or they are worrying to you, tell your doctor.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
signs of frequent infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
allergic-type reactions, such as skin rash, itching and difficulty in breathing, wheezing or coughing (anaphylactic reactions)
swelling of hands, ankles or feet
swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
inflammation of the food pipe. You may experience difficulty or pain when swallowing or heartburn
poor appetite, fever, chills, nausea and a persistent stomach ache that becomes worse with movement
uncomfortable or severe stomach pains or belching after eating
convulsions or fits
loss of sensation or problems with reflexes (slow or fast)
blurred or loss of vision, distorted vision or a blind spot in your central vision, pressure in the eye.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm can also cause:
chemical imbalances in the blood and urine
increased blood pressure
swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
bleeding in the stomach
masking of infections
increased risk of infection
hormone changes
metabolic changes
changes in liver enzymes
Some of these side effects can only be found when your doctor does tests from time to time to check on your progress.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.

After treatment with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm

Storage

Normally your doctor will get Methylprednisolone Alphapharm from the hospital pharmacy or their consulting rooms. If you do take your Methylprednisolone Alphapharm from the pharmacy to your doctor, it is important to store it in a safe place away from heat (below 25°C).
Do not leave Methylprednisolone Alphapharm in a car or on window sills.
Heat can destroy some medicines.
If for any reason you take your Methylprednisolone Alphapharm home, always ensure that it is stored in a place where children cannot reach it.
Keep Methylprednisolone Alphapharm in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.

Disposal

If your doctor stops treating you with Methylprednisolone Alphapharm, your hospital pharmacist will dispose of any unused medicine.
The expiry date is printed on the labels. Methylprednisolone Alphapharm should not be used after this date has passed.

Product description

What it looks like

Methylprednisolone Alphapharm is a white powder, which has to be reconstituted with water for injection, before being injected into the vein.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm 500 mg and 1 g are available in packs of 1 vial.

Ingredients

Each vial of Methylprednisolone Alphapharm contains 500 mg and 1 g of methylprednisolone sodium succinate.
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm 500 mg and 1 g also contain the following inactive ingredients:
sodium phosphate monobasic anhydrous
sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous
sodium hydroxide
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm 500 mg and 1 g do not contain gluten, lactose, sucrose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.

Supplier

Methylprednisolone Alphapharm is supplied by:
Alphapharm Pty Limited
(ABN 93 002 359 739)
Level 1, 30 The Bond
30-34 Hickson Road
Millers Point NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9298 3999
www.alphapharm.com.au
 
Australian registration numbers:
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm
500 mg - AUST R 166624
Methylprednisolone Alphapharm
1 g - AUST R 166625
 
This leaflet was prepared on
22 September 2014.
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