Compare Medrol vs. Hydrocortisone

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

SOLU-medrol
(methylprednisolone)

Anusol Hc
(hydrocortisone)

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.Treats itchy or irritated skin. Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a good topical steroid to try for treating minor rashes or skin irritation.
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Coupons for Hydrocortisone
Best available price for 454 (454g of 2.5%) jar of ointments of hydrocortisone
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.12Medrol
Reviews for Medrol
59%
of people (All ages) say Medrol is worth it
53%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Anusol Hc (hydrocortisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
MedrolHydrocortisone

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

More about Medrol side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Hydrocortisone »
How it works
MedrolHydrocortisone
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.Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a topical steroid that works by decreasing skin itching, swelling, and redness.
Type of medication
MedrolHydrocortisone
Prescription onlyOver-the-counter
Available as
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Topical solution
Used for
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • Skin Inflammation
Risk factors for serious side effects
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • 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 »
  • 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 »
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
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • 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.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Upsides and benefits
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about MedrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used SOLU-medrol (methylprednisolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about HydrocortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Anusol Hc (hydrocortisone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it