Difference Between Medrol and Prednisone

Main difference

The main difference between Medrol and Prednisone is that Medrol is the brand name for methylprednisolone and Prednisone is a generic term.

Medrol versus prednisone

Medrol is the brand name while Prednisone is a generic name. Medrol contains methylprednisolone and prednisone is the active moiety of several different brand names. Medrol is found in preparative forms such as oral tablets and injectable suspension, while prednisone is found in preparative forms such as oral tablets, extended-release oral tablets, and oral solutions.

Medrol’s active drug methylprednisolone acts to show its pharmacological actions, and prednisone has to be converted to methylprednisolone to show its pharmacological actions. Medrol is a pregnancy category C drug and prednisone is a pregnancy category D drug. Medrol is a more preferred option for psychosis than prednisone.

Medrol is stronger in therapeutic actions than prednisone. Medrol is less likely to be prescribed for children compared to prednisone. The Medrol oral preparation works for 30-36 hours, and the prednisone oral preparation works for 18-36 hours. The half-life of Medrol is 18 to 36 hours and the elimination half-life of prednisone is 3 to 4 hours.

Comparison chart

medrol Prednisone
Medrol is methylprednisolone and is used to decrease inflammation and suppress the immune system. Prednisone is a generic drug that is used to treat inflammation and acts as an immunomodulating drug.
drug category
corticosteroids corticosteroids
alter gene expression alter gene expression
duration of action
30-36 hours 18-36 hours
Adverse effects
skin problems
Stomach ache
sleeping problems
skin diseases
Stomach problems
therapeutic actions
anti allergic
blood disorders
Respiratory system disorders
Immune system disorders
pregnancy category
C re
generic availability
Yes Yes
brand names
In itself a brand Deltastone, Prednicot

What is Medrol?

Medrol is the brand name for methylprednisolone. Medrol belongs to the glucocorticoids. Medrol suppresses the immune system and helps decrease inflammation. Medrol on the basis of its pharmacological actions is used in a number of diseases. Medrol finds its use in the treatment of asthma, rheumatic disorders, skin disorders, COPD, allergies, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, lupus, and tuberculosis as a complementary medication. Medrol is a member of the World Health Organization Essential Medicines. Medrol cannot be used in patients who have any type of fungal infection in any part of the body or who are allergic to Medrol.

Medrol acts as a corticosteroid hormone receptor agonist. Medrol in the form of a drug not bound through the cell membrane of cells. After crossing cell membranes, Medrol binds to special cytoplasmic receptors with high affinity. This modifies the process of transcription and translation, which is why it intervenes in the alteration of gene expression. Medrol blocks leukocyte infiltration at inflammatory sites and helps to eradicate sensitive tumor cells by stimulating apoptosis. Medrol induces cell differentiation. Medrol suppresses the immune response by interfering with inflammatory mediators.

Medrol side effects include some serious problems that are due to Medrol’s ability to suppress the immune system. Immune system suppression actually weakens the immune system and the patient becomes susceptible to different infectious diseases. Medrol causes mental health problems. With prolonged use of Medrol, the patient suffers from osteoporosis, easy bruising, cataracts, and some fungal infections. Long-term use of Medrol not only suppresses the immune system, but also leads to swelling of the face, edema, weight gain, hypertension, cognitive heart failure, increased eye pressure, and psychosis. Medrol also causes insomnia. The use of Medrol in pregnant women is safe if they use it for shorter periods of time,

What is prednisone?

Prednisone belongs to the glucocorticoids. Prednisone is a generic term and its most famous brand name is Deltasone. Prednisone shows its therapeutic effects when the liver converts it to prednisolone. Prednisolone then binds to glucocorticoid receptors and these receptors are activated after binding with prednisolone. Activation of glucocorticoid receptors leads to changes in gene expression. The change in gene expression helps in the treatment of different disorders, including different types of cancer, asthma, COPD, adrenal insufficiency, rheumatological diseases. Prednisone is also used in decompensated heart failure and migraines. Prednisone is also used in organ transplantation to prevent tissue rejection at high doses. Prednisone also helps high blood calcium levels caused by cancer. Prednisone is taken orally.

Prednisone is absorbed in the GIT and its half-life is 2 to 3 hours. The calculated volume of distribution of prednisone is 0.4-1 L/kg. Prednisone is degraded by cytochrome P450 enzymes, and its metabolites are excreted in the urine and bile. Short-term use of prednisone leads to increased high blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes and fluid retention. Prednisone cannot be used in renal failure because its mineralocorticoid effects are less prominent. Prednisone causes depression in some patients as a minor side effect. Prednisone, long-term use, leads to cataracts, leukocytosis, steroid dementia, Cushing’s syndrome, glaucoma, and depression upon dose reduction or complete discontinuation.

Dependence on prednisone also develops, so when prednisone must be given for longer periods of time, the dose must be calculated by trial and error. The dose should be the minimum to achieve the desired therapeutic objective. When the goal of therapy is simply to reduce pain or inflammation, the dose of prednisone should be kept to a minimum and may be given with an NSAID. If the goal of therapy is to treat a life-threatening situation, then the dose should be large, but if it doesn’t work, double the dose. Once the therapeutic objective has been achieved, the dose should be reduced.

Key differences

  1. Medrol is the brand name, on the other hand, prednisone is the generic term.
  2. Medrol has methylprednisolone as the active therapeutic agent on the other side. Prednisone has many good brand names.
  3. Medrol oral tablets, injectable, suspension are available, while prednisone oral tablets/oral extended-release tablets/oral solutions are available.
  4. Medrol’s active drug methylprednisolone shows its therapeutic actions, and prednisone is converted to methylprednisolone to show its therapeutic actions.
  5. Medrol belongs to pregnancy category C; in contrast, prednisone belongs to pregnancy category D.
  6. Medrol is more likely to prescribe for psychosis, on the other hand, prednisone is less likely to prescribe for psychosis.
  7. Medrol is potent than prednisone while prednisone is less potent than Medrol.
  8. Medrol has a half life of 18 to 36 hours, on the other hand, prednisone has an elimination half life of 3 to 4 hours.
  9. Medrol oral preparation has a duration of action of 30 to 36 hours on the other hand Prednisone oral preparation has a duration of action of 18 to 36 hours.
  10. Medrol is not the preferred option for children, while prednisone is the preferred option for children.

Final Thought

The main conclusion from the above discussion is that Medrol and Prednisone are corticosteroids and belong to the glucocorticoids and are used to decrease inflammation and some other specific diseases.

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