Compare Medrol vs. dexamethasone

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

Medrol
(Methylprednisolone)

Decadron
(Dexamethasone)

Calms down your immune system. Medrol (Methylprednisolone) is corticosteroid available in many forms (oral, injectable) that's great for controlling the unwanted symptoms from your immune responses and will make you feel better. There are lots of side effects but most of are tolerable or can be managed.Lowers inflammation and suppresses your immune system. Decadron (Dexamethasone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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5.049180327868853Medrol
Reviews for Medrol (Methylprednisolone)
57%
of people say Medrol (Methylprednisolone) is worth it
51%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects
Medroldexamethasone

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

More about Medrol side effects »

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

More about dexamethasone side effects »
How it works
Medroldexamethasone
Medrol (Methylprednisolone) is a corticosteroid that's similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.Decadron (Dexamethasone) is a short-acting corticosteroid. It lowers inflammation by preventing your capillaries (small blood vessels) from leaking out excess fluid and chemicals that cause swelling.
Type of medication
Medroldexamethasone
Anti-inflammatory, Immunosuppressant
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
Glucocorticoid
Synthetic
Prescription only
Available as
Medroldexamethasone
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Medroldexamethasone
Risk factors for serious side effects
Medroldexamethasone
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Duration of treatment
    • History of psychiatric conditions
    • Dose of Medrol (Methylprednisolone)
    • Duration of treatment
    • Women of childbearing age
    • History of stomach bleeding
    • Active or history of stomach or duodenal ulcers
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Taking Medrol (Methylprednisolone) with other medicine that can cause stomach problems
    • Long-term treatment
    • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
    • Contact with people who have viral illness
    • History of bacterial or viral conditions
    Detailed Medrol (Methylprednisolone) risks & warnings »
    • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
    • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
    • Long-term treatment
    • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
    • Contact with people who have viral illness
    • History of bacterial or viral conditions
    • Duration of treatment
    • History of psychiatric conditions
    • Dose of Decadron (Dexamethasone)
    • Duration of treatment
    • Women of childbearing age
    Detailed Decadron (Dexamethasone) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    Medroldexamethasone
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    • Taking Medrol (Methylprednisolone) increases the risk of injury to the lining of your stomach and intestine including irritation, tears/holes and ulcers. You should avoid alcohol/alcoholic beverages because it can worsen stomach irritation. Tell your doctor or get medical care right away if you have stomach pain, notice blood or dark colored stools when you go to the bathroom.
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
    No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
    • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
    • Like most corticosteroid medicines, Medrol (Methylprednisolone) may cause changes in your mood or behavior. Tell your doctor right away if you become depressed, have mood swings, trouble sleeping, irritability or anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions or hallucinations while taking this medicine. If you need to make any changes or slowly taper your dose, talk to your doctor first.
    • Like most corticosteroid medicines, Decadron (Dexamethasone) may cause changes in your mood or behavior. Tell your doctor right away if you become depressed, have mood swings, trouble sleeping, irritability or anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions or hallucinations while taking this medicine. If you need to make any changes or slowly taper your dose, talk to your doctor first.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.
    • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
    Upsides and benefits
    Medroldexamethasone
    • Steroid magic, can help you feel better, have more energy and get more appetite.
    • Useful in controlling immune responses that are causing you discomfort, and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, gout attacks.
    • Useful in suppressing the immune system from causing your body harm, like many autoimmune related conditions.
    • Available in many different forms, including injection, that will expose the rest of your body less of the medicine.
    • Treats a large variety of inflammatory disorders including asthma, dermatitis, drug reactions, rashes, and endocrine disorders.
    • Can help prevent nausea, especially when it's caused by chemotherapy.
    • You can get it orally or as an injection.
    Downsides and risks
    Medroldexamethasone
    • Lots of side effects, especially with long term use.
    • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
    • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
    • People with certain conditions will have to pay extra attention to their symptoms or may have to adjust the dose of other medicines when taking Medrol.
    • When using corticosteroids for more than 1 week, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
    • Can't be used on its own to treat low cortisol levels.
    • Since it suppresses your immune system, you're more likely to get infections.
    • You can't take Decadron (Dexamethasone) if you have a systemic fungal infection.
    • Shouldn't be used if you have a stomach ulcer.
    • Can decrease bone formation and lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    Medroldexamethasone
    • The dose and duration on how long you need the medicine depends on your condition and response.
    • Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed.
    • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
    • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
    • Can cause changes in mood, blood pressure, blood sugar, and water retention.
    • You should check your blood pressure and blood sugar when taking this medicine if you already have high blood pressure or diabetes.
    • A taper is often needed to stop the medicine, especially if you've been on it for more than 1 week.
    • The lowest possible dose of corticosteroids should be used to control your symptoms.
    • When reducing or stopping the dose, do it very slowly and follow your doctor's instructions exactly to prevent major health emergencies.
    • If you used Decadron (Dexamethasone) for a long time, you could get withdrawal symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain, and malaise.
    • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
    • Don't get live or live/attenuated vaccines while on this. Killed or inactivated vaccines are fine.
    Learn more
    More about MedrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert