Compare Medrol vs. Marinol

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

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Marinol (dronabinol)

Prescription only
Calms down your immune system.

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.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 66 reviewsforMedrol
Treats appetite loss and nausea.

Marinol (dronabinol) can help with appetite stimulation and nausea/vomiting; however, there are other medicines available that might work better and have less side effects.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Medrol (methylprednisolone) is available in a generic form.
  • Available as blister packs that organize tablets into specific days and times for easier administration.
  • The appetite stimulating effects of Marinol (dronabinol) can last up to 5 months.
  • Marinol (dronabinol) is available in cheaper, generic form.
  • Can also improve mood and body weight in some people.
Downsides
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Adults age 65 or older might be more sensitive to the side effects of Marinol (dronabinol), especially mental/physical ability impairment, psychological changes, and blood pressure changes.
  • This medicine might actually worsen nausea/vomiting or cause stomach pain. If this happens, your doctor can change your dose or stop the medicine.
  • Can cause dry mouth and effect your dental health, so maintain good dental hygiene.
  • Can help with appetite stimulation, but does not stimulate weight gain.
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Used for
  • Allergies
  • Skin conditions
  • Endocrine conditions
  • Eye conditions
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Respiratory disorder
  • Multiple Sclerosis flare-up
  • Blood-related conditions
  • Drug-associated allergic reactions
  • Lupus
  • Cancer
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Severe Psoriasis
  • COPD episode
  • Treatment of appetite and weight loss in people with AIDS
  • Treatment of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy
  • Treatment and prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
66 reviews so far
59%
saidit'sworth it
53%
saiditworked well
23%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Medrol (methylprednisolone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Marinol (dronabinol) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Weakened immune system response to stress
    • Taking high doses of Medrol (methylprednisolone) for a long period of time
    • Young children
    • Stress such as trauma, injury, or infection
  • Increased risk for infections
    • Taking other medicines that weaken the immune system
    • Taking Medrol (methylprednisolone) for a long time
    • Those who are not vaccinated against viral illnesses
    • Coming into contact with people who have viral illness
    • History of bacterial or viral conditions
  • Changes in heart and kidney function
    • Those who had a recent heart attack
    • History of heart failure, high blood pressure, and kidney problems
  • Eye problems
    • Those with cataracts and/or glaucoma
    • History of herpes simplex in the eye
  • Harm to fetus (unborn baby)
    • Pregnant women
    • Women who can or plan to become pregnant
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Impairment of mental or physical abilities
    • Taking other medicines that cause drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion
  • Seizures
    • History of seizures
  • Heart and blood vessel changes
    • History of heart problems
    • Used with other medicines that have similar effects on the heart and blood vessels
  • Substance abuse
    • History of subastance abuse
    • History of alcohol dependence
  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction
  • Mood and behavior changes
    • History of mental illness
See more detailed risks and warnings