Compare Medrol vs. Hydrocortisone

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

Medrol
(Methylprednisolone)

Anusol Hc
(Hydrocortisone)

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.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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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
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
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
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.Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a topical steroid that works by decreasing skin itching, swelling, and redness.
Type of medication
MedrolHydrocortisone
Anti-inflammatory, Immunosuppressant
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
CorticosteroidOver-the-counter
Available as
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • Pill
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Topical solution
Used for (click to learn more)
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • Skin inflammation
Risk factors for serious side effects
MedrolHydrocortisone
  • 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 »
    • Long-term treatment
    • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
    • Contact with people who have viral illness
    • History of bacterial or viral conditions
    • Long-term treatment
    • Dose of Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone)
    • Duration of treatment
    Detailed Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    MedrolHydrocortisone
    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.
    No specific sleep-related info.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    MedrolHydrocortisone
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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
    More about HydrocortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert