Dexamethasone: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Precautions, Price & More

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Dexamethasone: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Precautions & More

What is Dexamethasone?

  • Dexamethasone is a synthetic glucocorticoid (corticosteroid) medicine.
  • It is used mainly for inflammatory and immunological disorders
  • Dexamethasone is an effective inhibitor of the early phase of inflammation, as well as of the development of chronic inflammation.
  • Dexamethasone prevents the development of the inflammatory response, i.e. redness, swelling, tenderness. They also appear to prevent the hypersensitivity responses which occur after antigen-antibody reactions.
  • Dexamethasone significantly inhibits both the proliferation of mononuclear cells (characteristic of inflammatory cells), and the release of inflammatory products or substances by these cells – thereby exerting immune-suppressive actions.

History

  • Dexamethasone was first made in 1957

Manufactured By – Jagsonpal Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Other variants and compositions

Variant Composition
Dexamethasone 0.5Mg Tablet Dexamethasone 0.5 MG
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate 10Ml Injection Dexamethasone 4 MG /1 ML
Buy & Get 20% Minimum Discount from: Myra Medicines | Netmeds

Uses of Dexamethasone

  • It is used for the treatment of following medical conditions –
  • Replacement Therapy in Acute adrenocortical insufficiency – Addison’s disease, bilateral adrenalectomy (removal of adrenal glands)
  • In collagen diseases like Systemic lupus erythematosus, Polyarteritis nodosa, Dermatomyositis and Giant cell arteritis
  • In pulmonary disorders like asthma, Sarcoidosis, Respiratory insufficiency
  • In blood disorders: Leukaemia, Idiopathic thrombocytopaenic purpura in adults, acquired (autoimmune) haemolytic anaemia.
  • Rheumatic Diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis
  • Skin Diseases
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Ulcerative colitis, Regional enteritis
  • Diseases of eye: Allergic conjunctivitis, Keratitis, Allergic corneal marginal ulcers
  • Certain types of cancer.
  • in the treatment of shock.

Also Read:  Dexorange Uses | Deriphylline Uses | Disprin Uses


Dexamethasone Price in India

Specifics Dexamethasone Price
0.5 mg Strip of 10 Tablets Rs 2.17
1 mg Strip of 10 Tablets Rs 3.95
4mg (2)ml Injection Rs 9.44

How to Take Dexamethasone?

  • The dosage and duration of this medication should be taken as advised by the doctor.
  • The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to therapy.
  • Dexamethasone comes in the form of tablets and syrups to be taken by mouth, suspensions to be used as eye/ear drops and injections.
  • Dexamethasone tablet/liquid should be taken with food or milk to avoid stomach upset. Take this medication with a full glass of water unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
  • Shake the syrup bottle well before using and always use measuring device to consume exact dose.
  • If you are taking Dexamethasone once daily, it is advisable to take it in the morning before 9 AM
  • It should be taken at around the same time every day.
  • Eye/ear drops – Instil 1-2 drops into eye every hour during the day and every other hour during the night; gradually reduce dose to 1 drop every 4 hours, then to 3-4 times/day
  • Injections are given by a trained healthcare professional.

Common Dosage for Dexamethasone

  • Dose for Dexamethasone is usually based on your medical condition and response to the treatment.
  • Oral use – The initial dosage varies from 0.75 – 9 mg/day depending on the disease being treated.

Also read about other medicine’s Dosage:  Dicyclomine HydrochlorideDolonex Dt


Precautions- When to Avoid Dexamethasone

  • Dexamethasone should not be used if you are allergic to any of its components
  • Dexamethasone should not be used if you are suffering from systemic fungal infections
  • The use of Dexamethasone in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases in which an appropriate antituberculous regimen is also being taken.
  • Dexamethasone should be used with caution in patients suffering from peptic ulcers and other gastro-intestinal diseases, since they may increase the risk of a perforation.
  • Always inform your doctor if you are undergoing a surgery, including dental surgery
  • Always inform your doctor if you need to receive any vaccinations.

Side-effects of Dexamethasone

  • A steroid “withdrawal syndrome,” may occur following abrupt discontinuance of corticosteroids. This syndrome includes symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, headache, fever, joint pain, shedding of skin, muscle pain, and/or weight loss.
  • Prolonged use of Dexamethasone can lead to Cushing’s syndrome. Symptoms include increased blood pressure, increased obesity around the trunk of body and thinning of the limbs, purple striations on skin, facial rounding, facial plethora (inked to increased blood volume or flow), muscle weakness, easy and frequent bruising with thin fragile skin, posterior neck fat deposition, loss of bone density, acne, disturbed menstrual cycle, increased body hair and psychiatric abnormalities.
  • Dexamethasone can elevate levels of blood glucose, deteriorate pre-existing diabetes, and can also decrease the effect of anti-diabetic medicines. It is advisable to monitor blood glucose at regular intervals.
  • Dexamethasone can elevate the risk of infections in the body – including viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan, or helminthic. It also decreases resistance to infections and can worsen existing infections.
  • Cardiovascular: altered heart rate, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, syncope (loss of consciousness), thromboembolism (obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot that has become dislodged from another site in the circulation), thrombophlebitis (a blood clot is formed and block one or more veins, usually in your legs), vasculitis.
  • Gastrointestinal side effects – enlarged liver, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and haemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis
  • Dexamethasone can cause increased blood pressure, increase salt and water retention in the body, and can cause increased excretion of potassium and calcium from the body.
  • Potentially severe psychiatric adverse reactions may occur – aggression, depression, emotional disorder, middle insomnia, mood altered, mood swings, sleep disorder
  • Dexamethasone can decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation
  • Dexamethasone may also cause eye diseases like – cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may increase the risk of secondary eye infections caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses.
  • Serious Skin Rashes can occur as side effects to Dexamethasone – Acne, dry scaly skin, bluish spots on skin, redness, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, striae, suppression of reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, itching.
  • Long-term use of Dexamethasone can have negative effects on growth and development in children.

In such cases, seek medical attention immediately.

Other Medicine's Side effects: Disodium Hydrogen Citrate | Drotin Ds

What effects does Dexamethasone have on organs?

  • Liver – dose adjustment is needed in patients suffering from severe liver diseases.
  • Kidney – dose adjustment is needed in patients suffering from kidney diseases.
  • Consult your doctors if any unwanted symptoms are observed.

Reported Allergic Reactions:

  • Report to your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients
  • Rare reports of allergic reactions have been seen, symptoms include: redness, itching on skin, swelling on face, throat with difficulty in breathing.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

  • All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here
  • Dexamethasonemay interact with the following drugs and products:
  • Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents
  • Antibiotics: particularly macrolide antibiotics
  • Anticholinesterase agents and Dexamethasone if taken together, can cause severe weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis.
  • Anticoagulants, oral: Co-administration of Dexamethasone and warfarin usually results in inhibition of response to warfarin.
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Antitubercular drugs: Serum concentrations of isoniazid may be decreased.
  • Cholestyramine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Digitalis glycosides
  • Ephedrine: Ephedrine may result in decreased blood levels of Dexamethasone.
  • Estrogens, including oral contraceptives: Estrogens may decrease the metabolism of Dexamethasone, thereby increasing their effect.
  • Barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin – dosage of Dexamethasone must be increased.
  • Ketoconazole, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin have the potential to result in increased plasma concentrations of corticosteroids.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents like aspirin, ibuprofen etc- increases the risk of gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Phenytoin
  • Skin tests: Dexamethasone may suppress reactions to skin tests.
  • Thalidomide
  • Vaccines: Patients on Dexamethasone may exhibit a reduced response to vaccines. Routine administration of vaccines or toxoids should be deferred until Dexamethasone therapy is discontinued if possible.
  • Always inform the physician of all the drugs/products you use
  • Inform about the herbal products that you are consuming
  • Do not modify the drug regimen without your doctor’s approval

Shows Effects / Results In:

  • Recovery begins within first three days of treatment
  • Complete the dose prescribed by your doctor for complete cessation of symptoms
  • Do not stop taking the drug without consulting your doctor.

Storage of Dexamethasone

  • Store at room temperature away from direct light and heat, below 25 degree Celsius.
  • Do not freeze the medicine
  • Discard any unused Dexamethasone Oral Suspension remaining after 1 month of first opening the bottle.

Pro Tips When Taking Dexamethasone –

  • Dexamethasone can increase your susceptibility to develop infectious diseases. You must stay away from people who are suffering from infectious diseases.
  • The usage of Dexamethasone should never be stopped abruptly or without medical advice.
  • While using Dexamethasone, additional supplementation doses is necessary during times of stress, such as surgery or infection.
  • Routine laboratory studies, blood pressure, weight, and chest x-rays should be performed at regular intervals for patients on long-term corticosteroid therapy.
  • Prolonged usage of Dexamethasone can lead to decreased bone mineral density and eye effects. Regular bone mineral density examination and regular eye exams should be encouraged.
  • Always monitor for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, Cushing’s syndrome with prolonged usage of Dexamethasone.

FAQ

Is Dexamethasone Addictive?

  • No. However self-medication and dependence to these medicines should be avoided.

Can I have Dexamethasone with alcohol?

  • Consumption of alcohol should be avoided while taking Dexamethasone.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

  • No such recommendations have been reported while taking Dexamethasone.

 Can I have Dexamethasone When Pregnant?

  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant for case specific recommendations.
  • Dexamethasone should only be prescribed when the benefits to the mother and child outweigh the risks.

 Can I have Dexamethasone when feeding a baby?

  • Dexamethasone can appear in breast milk and could inhibit growth, or cause other untoward effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you are breast-feeding your child and use the medicine as advised

Can I drive after taking Dexamethasone?

Do not drive a vehicle and operate heavy machinery while on this medication if you experience:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Increase in blood pressure

What happens if I overdose on Dexamethasone?

  • Immediately inform your doctor if you happen to over-dose on Dexamethasone.

What happens if I take expired Dexamethasone?

  • Taking a single dose may not cause any major adverse effect
  • The potency of the medicine may get reduced
  • Please inform your physician if expired medicine has been taken for a long duration
  • To be on the safer side, always check and never use an expired drug

What happens if I miss a dose of Dexamethasone?

  • To be effective a certain amount of drug must be in your body at all times
  • Always consume the missed dose as soon as you remember it
  • If it’s already time to take the second dose – do not take a double dose

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