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Old 09-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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medrol vs prednisone

I know that medrol (methylprednisolone) is in the family of prednisone but toxicity wise is it the same? I am asking because I keep having to go on a medrol pack when I get an upper respiratory infection that then affects my asthma. Right now I'm on my 3rd pack for the year. I got a cold which became a sinus infection and then the chest tightness and coughing started. Last year I was on a long taper of medrol for a month and a half and then a dose pack 4 other times in the year. All of those were because of colds that became more than a cold. It does make me feel a lot better although this time round I felt better and then instantly bad again as I tapered off. Still needing the ventolin about every 3hours. Is it safe to be on them so many times a year? My mother thinks I should tell my doctor that I don't want them but they do make me feel better.

My asthma is mild. I was diagnosed 3 years ago after a bad case of bronchitis and severe sinus infection. Never been hospitalized or had a full blown attack. Just chest tightness, trouble breathing, coughing usually brought on by a virus and exercise triggers it too. I'm on Qvar 80 2 puffs 2 times a day. rescue as needed.

 
Old 09-25-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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Re: medrol vs prednisone

There's no real difference between prednisone and methylprednisololne in terms of toxicity or the effect on your body, and 3 Medrol dose packs in a year isn't a large number (the top dosage in a Medrol dose pack is relatively small and you taper off of it quickly).

Having said that, you really should talk to your doctor (hopefully a Pulmonologist) to see if you medication needs to be modified to get you on a better treatment plan so you don't need quite so many Medrol dose packs.

 
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:10 AM   #3
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Re: medrol vs prednisone

I've noticed side effects for me are different with medrol, mainly that I was able to sleep. I've only been on it once though, so it's hard to say if that's a for sure thing for me.

 
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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Re: medrol vs prednisone

Thanks all. I only ever been on medrol so not sure about any differences. I do know that the main side effect I have with it is that I get these horrible aches on the 2nd day but they go away by day 4 or 5. They do help my breathing tremendously. My PCP treats my asthma and feels that I don't need a pulmonologist and I have a great relationship with him so I feel he can treat me pretty well. My asthma is rather mild (never had a severe attack needing ER treatment or hospitalization) so I think I'm in pretty good hand. I finished a dose pack a week ago and still having trouble with my asthma this time round. It's like I feel better one day then it returns, feel better, returns etc. I always feel like I should ride it out instead of going to the doctor everytime I feel uncomfortable. When do u decide it is time to go back to the doctor?

 
Old 09-30-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Re: medrol vs prednisone

Even though you feel your asthma is being treated well by your PCP, it can't hurt to see a pulmonologist. I used to think my asthma wasn't that bad, but things progressively kept getting worse. I eventually saw some specialists and it turned out I had horrific allergies, sleep apnea and GERD. Once the other problems were treated, the asthma became much more manageable. It never hurts to get a 2nd opinion.

 
Old 09-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: medrol vs prednisone

I agree. I'd see one if for nothing else than to get an "asthma action plan" which should help you counteract any possible bad effects from a cold or other respiratory ailment and hopefully keep you healthier. I would not consider my asthma under control if I had to resort to steroids that many times a year. I have mild asthma as well and it is very well controlled but I know exactly what to do as I have a plan from my immunologist/allergist.

 
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