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METH-il-pred-NIS-oh-lone - Pronunciation guide

Brand Names

  • Depo-Medrol
  • Medrol
  • Solu-Medrol


Rx symbolMethylprednisolone is a synthesized adrenal steroid. It is a 6-methyl derivative of prednisolone and exceeds prenisolone in anti-inflammatory potency. It offers an advantage over older corticosteroids with the use of lower doses.

Methylprednisolone is available in several formulas including methylprednisolone sodium succinate and methylprednisolone acetate.


Methylprednisolone is given systemically to decrease inflammatory and immune responses in horses. It may also be injected into joints to decrease local inflammation by stabilizing cell membranes, altering white blood cells, and influencing chemical responses to inflammation including reduction of prostaglandin production.

Methylprednisolone is also used systemically in high doses in emergencies for anaphylactic reactions, spinal cord trauma, or shock.

In addition, it is used in lower doses to treat allergic reactions such as hives, itching, heaves and arthritis, and may be used topically to treat certain conditions of the skin and eyes.

Dosage and Administration

Prescription medicationMethylprednisolone
Method Dosage
(click row for calculator)
Concentration Period Duration
As an anti-inflammatory
Intramuscular injection (methylprednisolone acetate) 200 mg 20 mg/ml Daily NA
Intramuscular injection (methylprednisolone acetate) 200 mg 40 mg/ml Daily NA
For intrasynovial use
Intrasynovial injection (methylprednisolone acetate) 40-240 mg 1 20 mg/ml Treatment NA
Intrasynovial injection (methylprednisolone acetate) 40-240 mg 1 40 mg/ml Treatment NA
For accute spinal cord injury
Intravenous injection (methylprednisolone sodium succinate) 2-4 mg/kg Various Daily NA
For shock (Robinson 1987)
Intravenous injection (methylprednisolone sodium succinate) 10-20 mg/kg Various Treatment NA


  • Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
  • Extra-label use of drugs in treating animals is allowable only by licensed veterinarians within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship, and does not include drug use in treating animals by the layman (except under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian).
  • 1The average initial dose for a large synovial space in horses is 120 mg with a range from 40 to 240 mg. Smaller spaces will require a correspondingly lesser dose.
  • Calculator is for educational purposes only. Follow your veterinarian's instructions regarding use of this, or any medication.

Side Effects

Systemic corticosteroids can mask signs of infection and suppress the immune response. Horses receiving systemic corticosteroids may be more susceptible to bacterial or viral infections.

While concerns have been raised about possible links between corticosteroid use and laminitis, current data establishing a direct correlation is lacking.

Increased urination, increased water consumption, and muscle wasting can occur with prolonged corticosteroid use.

Corticosteroids can cause or worsen gastric ulcers.


When treatment is to be withdrawn after prolonged use, the dose should be reduced gradually to prevent the symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency and reduce the risk of a flare-up of the disease being treated.

Before injection into any joint, an appropriate clinical work up including radiographs should be done.

Corticosteroids should be avoided in young foals and during pregnancy and lactation unless the benefits outweigh the risks.

Methylprednisolone is FDA approved for use in horses and is a prescription drug restricted to use by or on the lawful written or oral order of a licensed veterinarian.

Some corticosteroids are commonly used in competition horses, but are forbidden in any drug-free competition. It is important to check with the individual regulatory group regarding use in competition horses.


Corticosteroids increase risk of electrolyte imbalances due to calcium and potassium losses when diuretics such as furosemide are given.

The risk of gastrointestinal ulcers may be increased if corticosteroids and NSAIDs are given at the same time.

Corticosteroids should not be given intravenously with fluids containing calcium.


Immediately call your veterinarian. Read and follow manufacturer's directions carefully.


DepoMedrol InjectionDepoMedrol Injection

MethylPREDNISolone TabletsMethylPREDNISolone Tablets



About the Author

EquiMed Staff

EquiMed staff writers team up to provide articles that require periodic updates based on evolving methods of equine healthcare. Compendia articles, core healthcare topics and more are written and updated as a group effort. Our review process includes an important veterinarian review, helping to assure the content is consistent with the latest understanding from a medical professional.