What Is Urbason and What Is it For?
Corticosteroids are a group of drugs useful in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune processes. They mimic the function of a series of steroid hormones synthesized in the cortex of the adrenal gland. Urbason is a drug belonging to this group, but what is it and what is it for?
Inflammation is a very common phenomenon that is part of the body’s defense system against an injury or a pathogen. These processes are usually mild and remit on their own, however, there are cases where the inflammation can be so severe that it compromises people’s lives.
Its administration is only indicated in severe inflammatory processes or in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, the use of these drugs must be carried out under strict medical prescription and in very precise doses to avoid the appearance of collateral effects.
What is Urbason?
This is the brand name of a drug called methylprednisolone; it’s a methylated derivative of a corticosteroid called prednisolone. Urbason is an immediate-acting drug, so its effects can be observed between 12 and 36 hours after its administration.
It is also a very powerful drug; in fact, it is estimated to be up to 5 times more powerful than hydrocortisone in terms of its anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive and metabolic effects. The forms of administration are very diverse, being possible to use it orally, intravascularly and intramuscularly.
The dosage of the compound is also highly variable, so it is possible to find tablets ranging from 4 to 40 milligrams and powders for solutions of up to 250 milligrams. Urbason is metabolized in the liver, where it is converted into a less active substance that can be discharged through the urine.
Mechanism of action
Urbason is a substance capable of crossing the membrane of all cells in the body, so its action is exerted inside them. In general terms, the compound interacts with intracellular receptors, which allow it to enter the nucleus where it can bind to DNA and generate messenger RNA.
This new messenger RNA will generate the synthesis of various proteins that explain the mechanism of action. One of the synthesized proteins is macrocortin, which prevents the release of arachidonic acid and therefore the formation of some inflammatory factors such as prostaglandins, thromboxanes and leukotrienes.
The drug also prevents the migration of neutrophils to the area of inflammation and prevents other phenomena that increase the release of histamine and promote edema. In addition, Urbason has the ability to inhibit the synthesis of antibodies, which is why it is also an immunosuppressant.
What is Urbason for?
One of the main indications for Urbason is in the treatment of adrenal insufficiency, a condition in which the adrenal gland is unable to synthesize hormones. The compound is also useful in the treatment of various respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD and sarcoidosis.
On the other hand, the drug is also useful in the treatment of rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or gouty arthritis. It is also a good option for the treatment of radicular pain, since studies show that 85.5% of patients have decreased pain when used epidurally.
In addition, it can also be used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, among which the following stand out:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Crohn’s disease
- Liver diseases
- Ulcerative colitis
- Optic neuritis
Thanks to its activity on the immune system, Urbason is also used as immunosuppressive therapy in the transplantation of different organs. Finally, the compound in question is used during chemotherapy and radiation therapy together with other drugs.
How to take the medicine?
In general terms, it is best to take the daily dose of Urbason in the morning, during lunch, or immediately after it. The tablets should be swallowed whole, without crushing or chewing and with plenty of liquid.
According to the internal package insert for the drug, the starting dose of Urbason in adults should be between 12 and 80 milligrams daily. For its part, the recommended starting dose in children ranges between 0.8 and 1.5 milligrams per kilogram of weight, but 80 milligrams daily should not be exceeded.
The recommended maintenance dose for adults is 4 to 8 milligrams for adults and 2 to 4 milligrams for children. However, it is extremely important to follow the doses prescribed by the specialist to avoid side effects. It is necessary to remember that both the start and the suspension of treatment should be done gradually.
Urbason side effects
As with all commercialized drugs, Urbason is capable of generating unwanted side effects. However, they are rare and when they appear they do not usually limit the performance of activities. Among the main symptoms, the following stand out:
- Increase in blood sugar levels.
- Changes in menstrual periods.
- Fluid retention.
- Changes in the skin such as the appearance of stretch marks.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Agitation or anxiety.
On the other hand, studies show that the compound can be administered in children safely, as it generates minimal local or systemic adverse effects. This is as long as the recommended doses are not exceeded.
Excessive consumption of these types of substances can have serious health consequences. In this sense, they should be consumed for short periods and you should follow the instructions provided by the specialist. Among the most frequent complications due to the prolonged use of corticosteroids, the following stand out:
- Arterial hypertension.
- Fluid retention.
- Recurring infections.
Due to the large number of effects that Urbason generates in the body, there is a long list of contraindications for its use. One of the main ones is an allergy to the active ingredient or its excipients, since it can generate an allergic reaction that leads to anaphylactic shock.
On the other hand, the drug is also contraindicated in patients with chronic infections such as tuberculosis and herpes. This is because the immunosuppressive effect can worsen the underlying pathology and generate a more severe condition.
Some eye diseases such as glaucoma are also contraindications, due to the drug’s ability to increase intraocular pressure. Osteoporosis and peptic ulcers are also conditions that preclude its use.
Urbason should only be given during pregnancy when the benefits outweigh the risks. In addition, breastfeeding should be avoided when consuming high doses of the drug. Finally, it is important to inform your doctor if you are taking another drug or have an underlying disease before starting treatment.
An effective drug of extreme care
The corticosteroid in question is a drug with immediate-acting anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. In this sense, the Urbason is useful both in emergencies and in the treatment of chronic diseases. However, it has the ability to generate multiple unwanted side effects.
Its consumption must be carried out under strict prescription and medical supervision. When the recommended doses or time are exceeded, both systemic and local health problems can appear. In this sense, it is important to consult with the doctor with any questions or when you suffer strange symptoms.
- Álvarez Correa A, Rivera Díaz R, Arcila Lotero M. Eficacia de la metilprednisolona epidural en el dolor radicular. Revista Colombiana de Anestesiología. 2015;43(1):61-67.
- Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios. Prospecto: información para el usuario. Urbason 16 mg comprimidos. Disponible en: https://cima.aemps.es/cima/dochtml/p/59123/P_59123.html#introducci-n
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