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What is Dexamethasone?

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that prevents the body from releasing inflammatory substances.

Dexamethasone helps treat a variety of inflammatory conditions, including allergic disorders and skin problems.

Dexamethasone also helps treat ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, and breathing problems.

Dexamethasone is available in tablet, liquid, eye drop, and ear drop form. It is also available as an injectable or intraocular solution given after surgery. Only a healthcare provider can provide these two forms. You can buy dexamethasone online or from a pharmacy store.

Important Information

Do not use dexamethasone if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.

Inform your doctor about any other medical conditions you have and any medications you are taking. Many other diseases can be affected by steroid use, as well as many other medications that can interact with steroids.

If you have a serious illness, fever, or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency, your dosage may need to be adjusted. You should tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you during treatment.

Dexamethasone can weaken your immune system, making infection more likely or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Mention any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

If you have been exposed to measles or chickenpox, contact your doctor for preventive care. These conditions can be severe, if not fatal, in people who use steroid medication.

While you are taking a steroid, all vaccines may not work as well. You should not get a live vaccine while taking this medication.

If you stop using dexamethasone abruptly, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Discuss with your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing the medication.

What to know before taking dexamethasone?

If you are allergic to dexamethasone or have a fungal infection anywhere in your body, do not use it.

Inform your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a thyroid disorder
  • tuberculosis
  • a muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis
  • liver disease (such as cirrhosis)
  • malaria
  • osteoporosis
  • glaucoma or cataracts
  • depression or mental illness
  • congestive heart failure
  • herpes infection of the eyes
  • diabetes (steroid medicine may increase glucose levels in your blood or urine)
  • stomach ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis
  • high blood pressure

Steroid medication affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily. Steroids can also make an infection worse or reactivate an infection you have already had. Inform your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past few weeks.

It is unknown whether this medication will cause harm to an unborn child. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before taking this medication.

Consult your doctor before breastfeeding while using dexamethasone.

How to take dexamethasone?

Take dexamethasone as prescribed by your doctor. Read all medication guides or instruction sheets and follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally adjust your dose. Use the medication exactly as directed. You can order dexamethasone online with a prescription.

Due to illness, surgery, stress, or a medical emergency, your dose requirements may change. You should tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you.

Certain medical tests may be affected by this medication. Any doctor who treats you should be aware that you are taking this medication.

If you suddenly stop taking dexamethasone, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Inquire with your doctor about how to safely stop taking this medication.

Wear or carry medical identification to alert others that you are taking this medication in case of an emergency.

Store dexamethasone at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Dexamethasone dosage

Dosage for inflammation and other conditions

Adult dosage

The typical daily dosage ranges from 0.75 to 9 mg, depending on the treatment of the condition.

Child dosage

The initial dosage is 0.02–0.3 mg per kilogram body weight per day, divided into three or four doses.

Overdose

A dexamethasone overdose is unlikely to result in life-threatening symptoms. Long-term use of high doses can cause thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What to avoid while using dexamethasone?

Do not get close to people who are sick or have infections. If you have been exposed to chickenpox or measles, see your doctor for treatment. People who take steroid medicine may develop these conditions, which can be serious or even fatal.

While taking dexamethasone, you should avoid drinking alcohol.

While taking this medication, avoid getting a live vaccine. During this time, the vaccine may not work as well as it should, and you may not get fully protected from disease. The live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), oral polio, rotavirus, oral typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), and subcutaneous zoster.

Dexamethasone side effects

Common dexamethasone side effects may include:

  • swelling in your hands or ankles or fluid retention
  • mood changes, trouble sleeping
  • increased appetite
  • skin rash, bruising, or discoloration
  • increased sweating, acne, increased hair growth
  • dizziness, headache
  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach
  • changes in your menstrual periods
  • changes in the body fat shape or location (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist)

Serious side effects

  • weakness, muscle tightness, or limp feeling
  • blurred vision, eye pain, tunnel vision, or seeing halos around lights
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion), swelling, rapid weight gain
  • unusual thoughts or behavior, severe depression
  • seizure (convulsions)
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood
  • weak pulse, fast or slow heart rate
  • pancreatitis – severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting
  • low potassium level – leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, increased thirst or urination, numbness or tingling
  • increased blood pressure – severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed

Dexamethasone can affect a child’s growth. If your child is not growing normally while taking this medication, tell your doctor.

What drugs can interact with dexamethasone?

Inform your doctor about all of your current medications. Many drugs can interact with dexamethasone, especially:

  • antibiotics or antifungal medicines
  • medicine to treat dementia or Parkinson’s disease
  • insulin or diabetes medications you take by mouth
  • birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • a blood thinner – warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), including naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.