FAQs about methylprednisolone in MS

Most people with MS experience relapses, which are periods when symptoms suddenly worsen or new ones appear due to active inflammation in the central nervous system. Methylprednisolone is used in MS to control this inflammation, which helps to ease symptoms and speed recovery from acute relapses. However, the medication does not seem to slow or otherwise alter the overall progression of the disease.

According to animal studies, corticosteroids like methylprednisolone may cause harm to a developing fetus. Methylprednisolone use during pregnancy should be considered only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Patients should discuss this topic with their healthcare team.

The prescribing information for methylprednisolone-based formulations does not report a direct interaction between the medication and alcohol. However, methylprednisolone can make the stomach and intestines more susceptible to the irritating effects of alcohol, which increases the risk of ulcers. Patients are recommended to talk with their healthcare provider about the risks of alcohol consumption during methylprednisolone treatment.

It is difficult to determine when someone with MS will respond to methylprednisolone, especially because treatment regimens are tailored based on a patient’s particular needs. Corticosteroids infused into the bloodstream generally act faster than oral medications, and the effects usually can be seen after about one week. However, patients should discuss a timeline with their healthcare team for when methylprednisolone is expected to work in their particular situation.

Increased appetite and weight gain are some of the most common side effects of methylprednisolone and other corticosteroids. Thinning scalp hair also is indicated as a potential side effect on the medication’s label.

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