Dexamethasone

Description

Dexamethasone is similar to the steroidal hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is used to treat internal and external swelling associated with diseases like asthma, colitis, arthritis, severe skin allergies etc. It is also used for other conditions like adrenal hormonal insufficiency, certain types of anemia, cerebral edema etc.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Dexamethasone

  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Swelling of face, lips, eyelids, tongue, hands and feet
  • Loss of vision or blurred vision
  • Infections that persist for long
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Unusual tiredness and weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Acne
  • Increased hair growth
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Easy bruising and bleeding

Uses of Dexamethasone

What is it prescribed for?

  • Inflammation
  • Joint inflammation
  • Eye/Ear inflammation
  • Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting
  • Bacterial Meningitis
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • Immunosuppression
  • Cerebral edema
  • Shock
  • Cancer
Read More
Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The effect of this medicine can be observed within a few minutes after oral administration. However, this is subject to vary widely depending upon the form of administration and intended use.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts based on the form of administration and intended use.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    Use of this medicine is not recommended for pregnant women unless absolutely necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risk involved. Consult your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    Use of this medicine is not recommended by breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risk involved. Consult your doctor before using this medicine.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a known history of allergy to it or any other medicine belonging to the category of corticosteroids.

Systemic Fungal Infection

This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a fungal infection affecting an internal organ/organs in the body.

Cerebral malaria

This medicine is not recommended for use if you are suffering from a rare type of malaria that affects the brain.

Active untreated infection

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients suffering from any serious infection and is yet to receive any treatment for the same.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

Use of this medicine is not recommended for pregnant women unless absolutely necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risk involved. Consult your doctor before using this medicine.

Breast-feeding

Use of this medicine is not recommended by breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risk involved. Consult your doctor before using this medicine.
General warnings

Other medicines

This medicine may interact with any medicine that you might be possible taking. Report the use of all medicines including supplement and herbs to the doctor to ensure safe and effective use of this medicine.

Allergic reaction

This medicine has the potential of causing moderate to a severe allergic reaction in the body. Any instance indicative of allergic reactions should be reported to the doctor in the first instance.

Other diseases

This medicine should be used with caution if the patient is suffering from diseases like cirrhosis, diverticulitis, myasthenia gravis, peptic ulcer disease, kidney diseases etc. Report the instance of other diseases as well before treatment with this medicine is initiated.

Change in blood pressure

Use of large dose of this medicine can alter the levels of electrolytes like sodium and potassium in the body and may cause unexpected changes in blood pressure levels.

Withdrawal symptoms

Use of this medicine should not be abruptly stopped as the patient is likely to suffer from withdrawal symptoms. The use should be slowly and gradually withdrawn.

Systemic fungal infections

Use of this medicine may worsen the symptoms of internal fungal infections and hence should be used only under life-threatening circumstances.

Lowest possible dose

The lowest possible dose of this medicine should be taken to keep the interactions and side effects away. Hence it is advised to optimize the dose strength at the earliest by accessing the underlying condition.

Growth inhibition

This medicine should be used with caution in pediatric patients as the risk of growth abnormalities, brittle bones, and other developmental problems are significantly high.

Psychotic effects

Use of this medicine can cause side effects like agitation, anxiety, depression, mood changes, and other psychotic manifestations and hence caution is advised. Any sign and symptom indicative of a mental side effect should be reported to the doctor immediately.

Delayed wound healing

Use of this medicine may delay the process of wound healing.

Immunization procedures

Immunization procedures involving the injection of a live and weakened pathogen should be avoided while taking this medicine. Alternate means of immunization not involving a live strain of a microorganism could be considered.

Missed Dose

Contact your doctor for instructions if you missed a scheduled dose of this medicine. A self-attempt to make up for the lost dose may result in adverse effects.

Overdose

Contact your doctor if an overdose with this medicine for is suspected especially when the prescribed dose is very high. Symptoms may include thinning of the skin, easy bruising and bleeding, body fat deposits etc.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Deflazacort

Levofloxacin

Live attenuated vaccines and related products

Hydrocodone

Disease interactions

Electrolyte imbalance

This medicine is known to cause imbalances in the levels of minerals like calcium, potassium, and sodium in the body. Hence it should be administered with caution in patients with a pre-existing electrolyte imbalance disorder.

Gastrointestinal perforations

This medicine is known to cause perforations and bleeding in the gut especially when high doses are consumed. Hence this medicine should be administered with caution in patients having a pre-existing perforation disorder of the stomach or intestine.

Myocardial infarction

This medicine should be used with caution in patients who have recovered or are recovering from a recent heart attack.

Ocular herpes infection

This medicine should be used with caution if the patient is suffering from an eye infection caused by herpes simplex virus.

Scleroderma

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from this disease where the skin and connective tissue beneath become hard and stiff.

Threadworm infection

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from an infection caused by threadworm (Strongyloides).
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take Dexamethasone as instructed by the doctor. Your dosage timings, forms, duration and other attributes are subject to vary depending on the condition and hence adherence to the instruction is necessary to ensure safe and effective use of this medicine.
Miscelleneous

Food timings: Information not available

Administration time: Information not available

Sleep inducing: Information not available

How it works
This medicine works by decreasing the release of certain substances that cause swelling. It also works by suppressing or partially preventing the effect of the immune system.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Glucocorticoids

Schedule

Schedule H

[Internet]. 2017 [cited 24 April 2017]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/31170

DailyMed - DEXAMETHASONE- dexamethasone tablet DEXAMETHASONE- dexamethasone solution, concentrate DEXAMETHASONE- dexamethasone solution [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 24 April 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=537b424a-3e07-4c81-978c-1ad99014032a

Dexamethasone - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 24 April 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01234

dexamethasone | C22H29FO5 - PubChem [Internet]. Pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 24 April 2017]. Available from:

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/5743#section=Top

Dexamethasone Ophthalmic: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 24 April 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682869.html

Dexamethasone Uses, Dosage & Side Effects - Drugs.com [Internet]. Drugs.com. 2017 [cited 24 April 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugs.com/dexamethasone.html

Dexamethasone: Indication, Dosage, Side Effect, Precaution | CIMS India [Internet]. Mims.com. 2017 [cited 24 April 2017]. Available from:

http://www.mims.com/india/drug/info/dexamethasone/

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Information on this page was last updated on 25 Apr 2017

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.