Solu-Medrol is the liquid form of methylprednisone, a powerful corticosteroid. Solu-Medrol is used for multiple sclerosis (MS) in high intravenous doses to reduce the severity and duration of relapses by reducing the inflammation around a lesion and closing the blood-brain barrier. It is usually given in doses between 500 and 1000 mg/day for three to five days.
I have a love-hate relationship with Solu-Medrol. For me, it performs miracles, such as completely clearing up blindness in my left eye within 12 hours of the first treatment when I had a relapse involving optic neuritis. When I had a fairly severe relapse three weeks post-partum, I almost skipped out of the infusion center that I had limped into clutching my husband’s arm two hours before. Now, not everyone reacts this quickly to the treatments, but so far I have been lucky (of course, I don’t know what next time will bring).
- Hospital, Clinic or Home: Often the first Solu-Medrol series is given in a hospital on an in-patient basis for the duration of the treatment (three to five days), so that your reaction can be monitored and you can be taken care of during this time. You can also go to a clinic or an infusion center, where you will be given the medicine while laying down in a bed or reclining in a chair. Arrangements may occasionally be made for a nurse to come to your home to administer the treatment, as well.
- The IV Line: Your IV line will be inserted into your hand or arm and will consist of a small catheter attached to a couple of inches of flexible tubing with a “hub” or “lock” on the end which allows tubing to be attached to it. This will be taped in place and probably left there to be used for a couple of treatments, if not all of them.
- Giving the Medication: The actual administration of Solu-Medrol is pretty standard. After the IV line is inserted, the bag containing the Solu-Medrol (between 500 and 1000 mg diluted in 100 to 500 ml of fluid) is infused over a period of time ranging from one to four hours. You will experience a brief (30 seconds) period of stinging and a cool sensation when the medication begins to flow.