Methylprednisolone is a synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid similar to a natural hormone produced by adrenal glands. Corticosteroids are naturally- occurring chemicals produced by the adrenal glands located adjacent to the kidneys. Corticosteroids block inflammation and are used in a wide variety of inflammatory diseases. Corticosteroids are used in MS for the management of acute exacerbations because they have the capacity to close the damaged blood-brain barrier and reduce inflammation in the central nervous system. There are numerous preparations of corticosteroids including oral tablets, capsules, liquids, topical creams and gels, inhalers, eye drops, and injectable and intravenous solutions.
Methylprednisolone relieves inflammation (swelling, heat, redness, and pain) and is used to treat certain forms of arthritis; skin, blood, kidney, eye, thyroid, and intestinal disorders (e.g., colitis); severe allergies; and asthma. Methylprednisolone also is used to treat certain types of cancer. Methylprednisolone decreases inflammation or swelling by preventing certain inflammation-promoting chemicals in the body from moving into the affected area (eg. airway with asthma or skin with poison ivy). Methylprednisoline also suppresses your immune system so that your body is less able to reject a transplanted organ.
Methylprednisolone is used to achieve prompt suppression of inflammation. Examples of inflammatory conditions for which methylprednisolone is used include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, acute gouty arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease. Severe allergic conditions that fail conventional treatment also may respond to methylprednisolone. Examples include bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, drug-induced dermatitis, and contact and atopic dermatitis. Chronic skin conditions treated with methylprednisolone include dermatitis herpetiformis, pemphigus, severe psoriasis and severe seborrheic dermatitis. Chronic allergic and inflammatory conditions of the uvea, iris, conjunctiva and optic nerves of the eyes also are treated with methylprednisolone.