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Drugs reference index «Dexamethasone»

Dexamethasone


Dexamethasone

Brand names: Decadron Tablets

Why is Dexamethasone prescribed?

Decadron, a corticosteroid drug, is used to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms in a variety of disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and severe cases of asthma. It may be given to people to treat primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency (lack of sufficient adrenal hormone). It is also given to help treat the following disorders:

Severe allergic conditions such as drug-induced allergiesBlood disorders such as various anemiasCertain cancers (along with other drugs)Skin diseases such as severe psoriasisCollagen (connective tissue) diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosusDigestive tract disease such as ulcerative colitisHigh serum levels of calcium associated with cancerFluid retention due to nephrotic syndrome (a condition in which damage to the kidneys causes the body to lose protein in the urine)Eye diseases such as allergic conjunctivitisLung diseases such as tuberculosis (along with other drugs)

Most important fact about Dexamethasone

Decadron lowers your resistance to infections and can make them harder to treat. Decadron may also mask some of the signs of an infection, making it difficult for your doctor to diagnose the actual problem.

How should you take Dexamethasone?

Decadron should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

If you are taking large doses, your doctor may advise you to take Decadron with meals and to take antacids between meals, to prevent a peptic ulcer from developing.

Check with your doctor before stopping Decadron abruptly. If you have been taking the drug for a long time, you may need to reduce your dose gradually over a period of days or weeks.

The lowest possible dose should always be used, and as symptoms subside, dosage should be reduced gradually.

  • If you miss a dose...Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose.
  • Storage instructions...There are no special storage requirements.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Decadron.

  • Side effects may include:Abdominal distention, allergic reactions, blood clots, bone fractures and degeneration, bruises, cataracts, congestive heart failure, convulsions, "cushingoid" symptoms (moon face, weight gain, high blood pressure, emotional disturbances, growth of facial hair in women), excessive hairiness, fluid and salt retention, general feeling of illness, glaucoma, headache, hiccups, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, hives, increased appetite, increased eye pressure, increased pressure in head, increased sweating, increases in amounts of insulin or hypoglycemic medications needed in diabetes, inflammation of the esophagus, inflammation of the pancreas, irregular menstruation, loss of muscle mass, low potassium levels in blood (leading to symptoms such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, weak or irregular heartbeat, and muscle pain or cramps), muscle weakness, nausea, osteoporosis, peptic ulcer, perforated small and large bowel, poor healing of wounds, protruding eyeballs, suppression of growth in children, thin skin, tiny red or purplish spots on the skin, torn tendons, vertigo, weight gain

Why should Dexamethasone not be prescribed?

Decadron should not be used if you have a fungal infection, or if you are sensitive or allergic to any of its ingredients.

Special warnings about Dexamethasone

Decadron can alter the way your body responds to unusual stress. If you are injured, need surgery, or develop an acute illness, inform your doctor. Your dosage may need to be increased.

Corticosteroids such as Decadron can lower your resistance to infection. Diseases such as measles and chickenpox can be serious and even fatal in adults. Likewise, a simple case of threadworm can run rampant, producing life-threatening complications. If you are taking Decadron and are exposed to chickenpox or measles—or suspect a case of threadworm—notify your doctor immediately. Symptoms of threadworm include stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Do not get a smallpox vaccination or any other immunizations while taking Decadron, especially in high doses. The vaccination might not take, and could do harm to the nervous system.

Decadron may reactivate a dormant case of tuberculosis. If you have inactive tuberculosis and must take Decadron for an extended period, your doctor will prescribe anti-TB medication as well.

When you stop taking Decadron after long-term therapy, you may develop withdrawal symptoms such as fever, muscle or joint pain, and a feeling of illness.

Long-term use of Decadron may cause cataracts, glaucoma, and eye infections.

If you have any of the following conditions, make sure your doctor knows about it:

Allergy to any cortisone-like drugCirrhosisDiabetesDiverticulitisEye infection (herpes simplex)GlaucomaHigh blood pressureImpaired thyroid functionKidney diseaseMyasthenia gravis (a muscle disorder)Osteoporosis (brittle bones)Peptic ulcerRecent heart attackTuberculosisUlcerative colitis

Steroids may alter male fertility.

This medication can aggravate existing emotional problems or cause emotional disturbances. Symptoms range from an exaggerated sense of well-being and difficulty sleeping to mood swings and psychotic episodes. If you experience any changes in mood, contact your doctor.

If you have recently been to the tropics or are suffering from diarrhea with no apparent cause, inform your doctor before taking Decadron.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Dexamethasone

If Decadron is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Decadron with the following:

AspirinBlood-thinning medications such as warfarinCarbamazepineEphedrineErythromycinIndomethacinKetoconazolePhenobarbitalPhenytoinRifampinThalidomideWater pills that pull potassium out of the system, such as hydrochlorothiazide

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Decadron during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Infants born to mothers who have taken substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully watched for adrenal problems. Corticosteroids appear in breast milk and can suppress growth in infants. If Decadron is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Decadron is finished.

Recommended dosage for Dexamethasone

ADULTS

Your doctor will tailor your individual dose to the condition being treated. Initial doses range from 0.75 milligram to 9 milligrams a day.

After the drug produces a satisfactory response, your doctor will gradually lower the dose to the minimum effective level.

Overdosage

Reports of overdose with Dexamethasone are rare. However, if you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.

  • Dexamethasone Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Dexamethasone Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Dexamethasone MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • dexamethasone Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • dexamethasone Intraocular Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Baycadron Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Cortastat injection Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Decadron Prescribing Information (FDA)

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