Cows' milk allergy warning over methylprednisolone use

Lactose-containing methylprednisolone preparations should not be used in patients with cows' milk allergy, the MHRA has advised prescribers.

Cows’ milk allergy is an immunological adverse reaction induced by cows’ milk proteins. | iStock.com/Photoevent
Cows’ milk allergy is an immunological adverse reaction induced by cows’ milk proteins. | iStock.com/Photoevent

Serious allergic reactions, including bronchospasm and anaphylaxis, have been reported in patients allergic to cows' milk proteins who were treated with injectable methylprednisolone containing lactose of bovine origin (Solu-Medrone 40mg).

Solu-Medrone 40mg should not be used in patients with a known or suspected allergy to cows' milk. If a patient's symptoms worsen or any new allergic symptoms occur, allergic reaction to cows' milk proteins should be suspected and use of the product should be stopped.

A recent EU review found that patients with cows' milk allergy who experienced allergic reactions to lactose-containing methylprednisolone preparations were generally younger than 12 years and had childhood asthma. In some cases the allergic reaction was misinterpreted as a lack of therapeutic effect, leading to re-administration of methylprednisolone and worsening of the patient's condition.

Solu-Medrone 40mg uses lactose produced from cows' milk as an excipient and may contain trace amounts of milk proteins. The product will be reformulated to remove any trace of milk proteins.

Other strengths of Solu-Medrone and other injectable methylprednisolone products (ie, Depo-Medrone, Depo-Medrone with lidocaine) do not contain milk proteins.

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