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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Coupons for Medrol
Best available price for 21 (4mg) tablets of methylprednisolone
Coupons for Dexamethasone
Best available price for 60 (4mg) tablets of dexamethasone
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.12Medrol
Reviews for Medrol (methylprednisolone)
59%
of people (All ages) say Medrol (methylprednisolone) is worth it
53%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Decadron (dexamethasone)
Not enough review data. Review it!
+31% better vs. Medrol (methylprednisolone)
Not enough review data. Review it!
+37% better vs. Medrol (methylprednisolone)
Not enough review data. Review it!
+23% better vs. Medrol (methylprednisolone)
Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
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
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
MedrolDexamethasone
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
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)
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
Detailed Decadron (dexamethasone) 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.

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.

Price
MedrolDexamethasone
  • Useful in controlling immune responses that are causing you discomfort, and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, gout attacks.
No price related info.
Food
MedrolDexamethasone
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
MedrolDexamethasone
  • Adrenal suppression leading to adrenal crisis can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Medrol (Methylprednisolone) too quickly. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your Medrol (Methylprednisolone) dose need to be done slowly over time. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes or stop the medication.
  • Adrenal suppression leading to adrenal crisis can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) too quickly. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your Decadron (Dexamethasone) dose need to be done slowly over time. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes or stop the medication.
Weight
MedrolDexamethasone
No 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
Have you used Medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about DexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it