Compare dexamethasone vs. Medrol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Decadron
(dexamethasone)

SOLU-medrol
(methylprednisolone)

Calms down your immune system. Decadron (dexamethasone) is a long-acting oral corticosteroid that is very effective in treating allergic reactions and immune conditions, however, if you're taking Decadron (dexamethasone) for a long time, there can be serious side effects.Calms down your immune system. SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) is very effective for controlling allergic reactions and many types of inflammatory conditions, but it is associated with serious and potentially life-threatening side effects if you have to take it for a long time.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Medrol
59%
+31% better vs. dexamethasone
53%
+37% better vs. dexamethasone
23%
+23% better vs. dexamethasone
Have you used SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
dexamethasoneMedrol

The dexamethasone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about dexamethasone side effects »

The Medrol FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Medrol side effects »
How it works
dexamethasoneMedrol
Decadron (dexamethasone) is a corticosteroid that is similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) is a corticosteroid that is similar to a hormone your body naturally makes in response to stress. It helps reduce swelling and blocks the actions of your immune system that normally would cause pain, discomfort, or harm.
Type of medication
dexamethasoneMedrol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Allergies
Risk factors for serious side effects
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Taking other immunosuppressants
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
Detailed Decadron (dexamethasone) risks & warnings »
  • Taking high doses of SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) for a long period of time
  • Young children
  • Stress such as trauma, injury, or infection
  • Taking other medicines that weaken the immune system
  • Taking SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) for a long time
Detailed SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Price
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
No price related info.
Food
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
  • Take SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) in the morning with food to lower your chances of getting stomach upset and having trouble sleeping. For an evening dose, it is best to take the medicine at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
Kidneys and liver
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause high blood pressure, increased salt retention and increased processing of electrolytes by your kidneys. If you have heart failure, high blood pressure, or kidney damage, talk to your doctor.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) can cause high blood pressure, unexplained weight gain, and other changes in the way your kidneys work. If you have a history of heart failure, high blood pressure, or kidney problems, talk to your doctor first before using this medicine.
Pain
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Taking Decadron (dexamethasone) increases the risk of injury to the lining of your stomach and intestine including irritation and tears. You should avoid alcohol/alcoholic beverages because it can worsen stomach irritation. Tell your doctor and get medical care right away if you have stomach pain or bloody/dark stools when you go to the bathroom.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Effective in treating many conditions.
  • Can improve energy and appetite.
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • Has long-term benefit in calming down the immune system and keeping it from causing your body harm, such as in autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in generic form.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) is effective for treating a variety of conditions involving the immune system.
  • Can help improve energy and stimulate your appetite.
  • Works quickly to provide relief for swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) is available in a generic form.
  • Available as blister packs that organize tablets into specific days and times for easier administration.
Downsides and risks
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • Many side effects, particularly with long term use.
  • Side effects include mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure and blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If you've been using corticosteroids for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Limited studies conducted with use of steroids during pregnancy or breastfeeding - potential harm to unborn baby.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) can cause unwanted side effects such as mood changes, trouble sleeping, and increase in blood pressure as well as blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems to your skin, bones, eyes, and place you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) is used for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off of the medicine by gradually decreasing the dose.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) can cause harm to an unborn baby, so it might not be a good option for pregnant women.
  • Might cause abnormal growth and development when used in children.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
dexamethasoneMedrol
  • The dose and how long you need to take the medicine for depends on your specific condition and response.
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause an increase in appetite and water retention, as well as changes in mood.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase blood pressure and blood sugar with higher doses. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, it is important that you check your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly while taking this medicine.
  • If you need to take Decadron (dexamethasone) for longer than 2 weeks, you may need to gradually stop taking this medication. Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed and do not stop suddenly.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
  • Take SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) in the morning with food to lower your chances of getting stomach upset and having trouble sleeping. For an evening dose, it is best to take the medicine at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) can increase your appetite, make your body retain more water, and cause changes to your mood.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar at higher doses. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, it is important that you check your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly while taking this medicine.
  • If you need to take SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) for longer than 2 weeks, you may need to gradually stop taking this medicine. Take it exactly as your doctor told you and do not stop suddenly.
  • While you are on this medicine, don't get any live vaccines, unless approved by your doctor.
  • SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone) can increase your chances of getting an infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
Learn more
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MedrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it