Compare Hydrocortisone vs. Medrol

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

Anusol Hc
(hydrocortisone)

SOLU-medrol
(methylprednisolone)

Treats itchy or irritated skin. Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a good topical steroid to try for treating minor rashes or skin irritation.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.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Anusol Hc (hydrocortisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Medrol
59%
-9% worse vs. Hydrocortisone
53%
-3% worse vs. Hydrocortisone
23%
+23% better vs. Hydrocortisone
Have you used SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
HydrocortisoneMedrol

We haven’t found good data for Hydrocortisone side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Hydrocortisone »

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

More about Medrol side effects »
How it works
HydrocortisoneMedrol
Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a topical steroid that works by decreasing skin itching, swelling, and redness.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
HydrocortisoneMedrol
Over-the-counterPrescription only
Available as
HydrocortisoneMedrol
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Topical solution
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
HydrocortisoneMedrol
  • Skin Inflammation
Risk factors for serious side effects
HydrocortisoneMedrol
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
  • Contact with people who have viral illness
  • History of bacterial or viral conditions
Detailed Anusol Hc (hydrocortisone) 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

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
HydrocortisoneMedrol
No food related info.
  • 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
HydrocortisoneMedrol
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
HydrocortisoneMedrol
  • Relieves itchy and irritated skin.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • It's available over the counter in the drugstore.
  • Most people have very few side effects.
  • 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
HydrocortisoneMedrol
  • It's not a strong steroid, so it doesn't work for everyone.
  • When used longer than a week, it can cause skin-thinning and make it harder for broken skin to heal.
  • 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
HydrocortisoneMedrol
  • Rub a thin layer of Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) into the area of skin that is affected.
  • Don't rub it into broken areas of skin and leave the area uncovered.
  • Wash your hands after applying it each time.
  • Don't use Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) more often than your doctor or the package label recommends.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes between applying moisturizing lotions and this medication.
  • Talk to your doctor if your skin gets worse or hasn't improved in seven days.
  • 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 HydrocortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Anusol Hc (hydrocortisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MedrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it