National shortage!

Well my neighbour went to the pharmacist for me this afternoon to pick up my prescription of methylprednisolone that was fast ordered in for today for my relapse. She got there and they hadn’t arrived - the pharmacist phoned the company and there’s a national shortage of them. He phoned the manufacturer as well and they are hoping to have them delivered to the pharmacist tomorrow by 2 as a fast delivery but no guarantee and they might not be in until Wednesday. Is there anybody else having a relapse that’s got a prescription for methylprednisolone - if so get the pharmacist to phone the manufacturer directly for a fast delivery otherwise you’ll be waiting a minimum of a week! Crazy that there’s such a shortage of them! And did anyone realise how much they cost - £60 per tablet!

Hi, I started a 5 day course of metholprednisolone last Monday and my local pharmacist had them in stock fine, no delay, maybe I got the last ones!..:-S…delay is not good when needed for a relapse! Jools X


I took my last dose yesterday, didn’t have any probelms getting them just 20 questions from the pharmacist,

Apparently he’d never seen 500mg prescribed before, my ms nurse has just moved premises so he’d better get used to it I suppose! It’s the first steriods I’ve ever had I so was a bit worried but I guess it’s good he checked.


Hang on a minute…60 QUID!! WOW!!

Where do you guys live?

I live in Grimsby (humberside/ north east lincolnshire)

Maybe it’s just a shortage in this area then! Grrrr!

Trying not to stress as it makes things worse but really hope they get them in for tomorrow - I needed to have started these last Thursday!

Yes, it’s not just the oral prescriptions that are a problem. I couldn’t get any eye drops containing it, and that was months ago!

There’s a shortage of the active ingredient itself, not just the pills.

The chemist told me: “You can try elsewhere if you like, but you won’t have any luck, because we’ve already tried.” I don’t drive, so rather than tour all chemists in the area, on public transport, for a drug I’d already been told I wouldn’t get, I decided to take their word for it.

I had to go all the way back to the surgery, and ask them to prescribe an alternative.

What beats me is GPs are apparently totally unaware there’s a shortage, and still prescribing regardless. You’d think it would be common knowledge at all surgeries that the patient is likely to have trouble obtaining it. :frowning:


Exactly Tina that’s my point the gp and the hospital must have known so they could’ve arranged the iv if the hospital had got their act together! They had that in stock! instead they didn’t organise properly and they left someone in a relapse to have to wait for goodness knows how long for it to arrive in on prescription!!!

I was perscribed methylprednisilone tablets by the neurophysiology dr, non of the chemists can get them at all, gota wait now til I get something else

I live just outside Glasgow

I think, Karina, that someone was telling you porkies.

The price has been fairly stable for the last few years, and the price for the 100mg tabs has been £48-odd for a pack of 20 tablets. Sounds like you may have had a tall tale to justify why they were not in stock.

The normal course is 500mg per day for 5 days (so 25 tabs, so less than £70 total.

We have had problems with our local pharmacy (attached to the surgery) with shortages (and another branch in the same town has had them on the shelf). What used to be an award winning branch now has no resident pharmacist, so no-one with a real incentive to do proper stock control.


Can you not have them IV at your hospitals out patients dept. I did this and is only 3 days of someone ferrying you back and forth and about an hour and a half odd out of your day. They worked alot better and quicker . Also when I had a perscription for oral I picked them up from the hospital phamacy? I suppose every hospital trust is different. Other point could the phamacy not find out if another phamacy has some?? Good luck

Hi Geoff - I phoned round all the pharmacys in the area and nobody had them in stock. They all said it would be around 5-7 days to order them. I was prescribed 500mg per day for 5 days but the stock of the 500mg tablets is completely out and won’t be in for weeks in this area so I settled to have 5 x 100mg tablets a day for 5 days. My consultants secretary mentioned the other day that at wexham park hospital (in slough) there is a months wait for the iv steroids due to the shortage of the tablets

Hi Karina, you probably did this already but have you tried the hospitals pharmacy for tablets? Kingston, Ashford, West midx? I can ask the pharmacys round here if you want me too? What a nightmare this is for you ;-(

I’ve just rung around again now - St. Peter’s now have them in stock. So I phoned my local pharmacist who have my prescription and explained that St. Peter’s have them and is there anyway they can arrange for collection there. Problem is that I can’t get them from the hospital on the prescription the I have as it’s the green prescription. Pharmacist is going to see what he can do. Otherwise how do I get the hospital written prescription??

Hi Karina,
5x100 mg per day for five days was always the “normal” dose for oral methylpred. I did not even know that there are now 500mg tabs available, but it would cut down on the awful taste in the mouth. Strong mints always to hand!
I think that you have chosen the right option.

It seems that two compaies have stopped making the product, one two years back, and one last month, and so another cannot keep up with the demand.

And, it seems obvious, the postcode lottery has come up with some more losers.


St. Peter’s hospital truly is an appalling hospital! They don’t communicate with each other and have no idea how to do things! In the end I can get 15 tablets this afternoon which is being transferred by courier from one pharmacist miles away to my local boots pharmacy - they have the others on order so hopefully they will be in within the next day or two! What an absolutely mess! All that this is done is cause more stres for me and made symptoms exhasberated!