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Medrol Dose Pack - What's your experience?

BackToWorkBBackToWork Upstate NYPosts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:40 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Happy Holidays to All!

From what I can tell... I believe there's a whole lot more evolution needs to take place before our walking upright characteristic becomes perfected. I don't know about you, but due to the horrible pain experienced whenever I try to walk for a bit... I'm thinking maybe my spine is just a prototype.

Questions regarding Medrol Dose Packs and Spinal Stenosis:

What is it? Can you describe it or how it is administered?

What is your experience?

Was it effective for you?

How quickly did it become effective for you?

How long did it remain effective?

Would you recommend it?

Best Pain Free Wishes to All, John B. (BackToWork)


  • A Medrol Dose pack is a course of steroids that is used to bring down inflammation. It is given for many different conditions and is fairly common with back problems.

    from prescribing information:
    "A Medrol Dose Pack contains 21, 4 mg pills that last for six days. The patient starts with six pills (24 mg) and takes one less pill each day, until the pack is finished. The pills are taken orally with a full glass of water before breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and at bedtime (according to the day). The patient gets a strong dose of the steroid on the first day of treatment, and as the dose decreases by the end of the sixth day, the inflammatory problem should subside."

    "Take the pills in the dose pack as instructed, and do not attempt to stop the pills suddenly. Unpleasant withdrawl symptoms can appear if you do not wean the steroids gradually."

    It is not recommended that oral steroids be taken for a long time as there are many damaging side effects. The Medrol Pack is a way to get significant medicine into the body in a short period of time...in a way that hopefully breaks the inflammation cycle. The largest dose is taken the first day...so the body gets a jolt of medication...and then you gradually back off until the medication is finished.

    Sometimes a doctor will order one Medral Pack followed by a second one. If there is little relief at that point, it will not be given a third time.

    Generally people respond fairly quickly to it.

    Its usefulness varies from person to person. At the beginning of my back problems, it was helpful. Given everything you have going on, my guess would be that it might give you some temporary relief. But with spondylolisthesis and degenerative changes, osteophytes, etc. which are probably causing the stenosis, it will be of limited usefulness.

    My back problems were/are similar to yours. When there is bony gunk clogging up what should be an open passage, there is very little that can be done to open up that space other than surgery.

    But every case is different. It may be that if you can get the inflammation to go down, it may be just enough to free up any nerves that are being compressed. So, of course, it is worth a try. Unless there are other medical issues that preclude the use of steroids, it is worth trying.

    Prior to surgery, I can remember taking some to help me get through a trip to my daughter's graduation from college. It provided enough relief that I was able to take the trip. I had help from a medrol pack on several occasions such as this...and of course, relief was very temporary.

    Good luck.

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