SOLU-MEDROL (Page 2 of 6)

Neoplastic diseases

For the palliative management of leukemias and lymphomas.

Nervous System

Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, or craniotomy.

Ophthalmic diseases

Sympathetic ophthalmia, uveitis and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.

Renal diseases

To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome or that due to lupus erythematosus.

Respiratory diseases

Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.

Rheumatic disorders

As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis; acute rheumatic carditis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, temporal arteritis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

SOLU-MEDROL Sterile Powder is contraindicated:

  • in systemic fungal infections and patients with known hypersensitivity to the product and its constituents. The SOLU-MEDROL 40 mg presentation includes lactose monohydrate produced from cow’s milk. This presentation is therefore contraindicated in patients with a known or suspected hypersensitivity to cow’s milk or its components or other dairy products because it may contain trace amounts of milk ingredients.
  • for intrathecal administration. Reports of severe medical events have been associated with this route of administration.

Intramuscular corticosteroid preparations are contraindicated for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Additional contraindication for the use of SOLU-MEDROL Sterile Powder preserved with benzyl alcohol:

Formulations preserved with benzyl alcohol are contraindicated for use in premature infants. (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use.)

WARNINGS

Serious Neurologic Adverse Reactions with Epidural Administration

Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection of corticosteroids. Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke. These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy. The safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use.

General

Formulations with preservative (see DESCRIPTION) contain benzyl alcohol, which is potentially toxic when administered locally to neural tissue. Exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol has been associated with toxicity (hypotension, metabolic acidosis), particularly in neonates, and an increased incidence of kernicterus, particularly in small preterm infants. There have been rare reports of deaths, primarily in preterm infants, associated with exposure to excessive amounts of benzyl alcohol. The amount of benzyl alcohol from medications is usually considered negligible compared to that received in flush solutions containing benzyl alcohol. Administration of high dosages of medications containing this preservative must take into account the total amount of benzyl alcohol administered. The amount of benzyl alcohol at which toxicity may occur is not known. If the patient requires more than the recommended dosages or other medications containing this preservative, the practitioner must consider the daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from these combined sources (see PRECAUTIONS, Pediatric Use).

Injection of SOLU-MEDROL may result in dermal and/or subdermal changes forming depressions in the skin at the injection site. In order to minimize the incidence of dermal and subdermal atrophy, care must be exercised not to exceed recommended doses in injections. Injection into the deltoid muscle should be avoided because of a high incidence of subcutaneous atrophy.

Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

In patients receiving the 40 mg presentation of SOLU-MEDROL during the treatment for acute allergic conditions and where these symptoms worsen or any new allergic symptoms occur, consideration should be given to the potential for hypersensitivity reactions to cow’s milk ingredients (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). If appropriate, administration of SOLU-MEDROL should be stopped, and the patient’s condition should be treated accordingly. Alternative treatments, including the use of corticosteroid formulations that do not contain ingredients produced from cow’s milk, should be considered for acute allergy management, where appropriate.

Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids is indicated in patients on corticosteroid therapy who are subjected to any unusual stress before, during, and after the stressful situation.

Results from one multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study with methylprednisolone hemisuccinate, an intravenous corticosteroid, showed an increase in early (at 2 weeks) and late (at 6 months) mortality in patients with cranial trauma who were determined not to have other clear indications for corticosteroid treatment. High doses of systemic corticosteroids, including SOLU-MEDROL, should not be used for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

Cardio-renal

Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.

Literature reports suggest an apparent association between the use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.

Endocrine

Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing’s syndrome, and hyperglycemia. Monitor patients for these conditions with chronic use.

Corticosteroids can produce reversible HPA axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Drug induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted.

Drug-Induced Liver Injury

Rarely, high doses of cyclically pulsed intravenous methylprednisolone (usually for the treatment of exacerbations of multiple sclerosis at doses of 1 gram/day) can induce a toxic form of acute hepatitis. The time to onset of this form of steroid-induced liver injury can be several weeks or longer. Resolution has been observed after discontinuation of treatment. However, serious liver injury can occur, sometimes resulting in acute liver failure and death. Discontinue intravenous methylprednisolone if toxic hepatitis occurs. Since recurrence has occurred after re-challenge, avoid use of high dose intravenous methylprednisolone in patients with a history of toxic hepatitis caused by methylprednisolone.

Infections

General

Patients who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infections with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or helminthic) in any location of the body may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents.

These infections may be mild, but can be severe and at times fatal. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Corticosteroids may also mask some signs of current infection. Do not use intra-articularly, intrabursally or for intratendinous administration for local effect in the presence of acute local infection.

A study has failed to establish the efficacy of methylprednisolone sodium succinate in the treatment of sepsis syndrome and septic shock. The study also suggests that treatment of these conditions with methylprednisolone sodium succinate may increase the risk of mortality in certain patients (i.e., patients with elevated serum creatinine levels or patients who develop secondary infections after methylprednisolone sodium succinate).

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