What is Decadron® (dexamethasone) used for?
Decadron® is commonly used for treating certain conditions associated with decreased adrenal gland function. It is also used to treat severe inflammation due to certain conditions, including severe asthma, severe allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, certain blood disorders, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and certain eye and skin conditions. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Decadron® is a corticosteroid. It works by decreasing or preventing tissues from responding to inflammation. It also modifies the body’s response to certain immune stimulation.
How should I take Decadron® (dexamethasone)?
Use Decadron® as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Take Decadron® by mouth with food.
How do I store Decadron® (dexamethasone)?
Decadron® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Decadron® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Decadron® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Decadron® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Decadron® (dexamethasone)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Decadron® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You are scheduled for a vaccination with a live virus vaccine (e.g., smallpox).
- You have an underactive thyroid, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, or ulcerative colitis.
- You have heart problems, esophagitis, gastritis, stomach obstruction or perforation, or an ulcer.
- You have a history of mental problems (e.g., depression), glaucoma, cataracts, or other eye problems.
- You have a herpes infection in your eye or any other type of infection (bacterial, fungal, or viral); have or recently had tuberculosis (TB) or tested positive for TB, measles, or chickenpox.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Decadron® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Decadron®. Decadron® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Decadron® (dexamethasone)?
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling of a whirling motion
- Increased appetite
- Increased sweating
- Mood changes
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
- Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue)
- Appetite loss
- Black, tarry stools
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Exaggerated sense of well-being
- General body discomfort
- Increased pressure in the eye
- Joint or muscle pain
- Mood swings
- Muscle weakness
- Personality changes
- Prolonged sore throat, cold, or fever
- Puffing of the face
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of feet or legs
- Unusual weight gain
- Vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
- Weight loss
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Decadron® (dexamethasone)?
Decadron® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital), carbamazepine, hydantoins (e.g., phenytoin), or rifampin because they may decrease Decadron’s effectiveness.
- Clarithromycin, azole antifungals (e.g., ketoconazole), steroidal contraceptives (e.g., desogestrel), or troleandomycin because weakness, confusion, muscle aches, joint pain, or low blood sugar, may occur.
- Methotrexate or ritodrine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Decadron.
- Hydantoins (e.g., phenytoin), mifepristone, or live vaccines because their effectiveness may be decreased by Decadron.
- Anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin) or aspirin because their actions and side effects may be increased or decreased by Decadron.
Does food or alcohol interact with Decadron® (dexamethasone)?
Decadron® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Decadron® (dexamethasone)?
Decadron® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Decadron® (dexamethasone).
What is the dose of Decadron® (dexamethasone) for an adult?
For oral administration
The initial dosage varies from 0.75 to 9 mg a day depending on the disease being treated.
What is the dose of Decadron® (dexamethasone) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Decadron® (dexamethasone) available?
Decadron® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablets, USP: dexamethasone
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Decadron®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Decadron®. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/decadron.html. Accessed August 24, 2017
Decadron®. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/decadron.aspx. Accessed August 24, 2017
Review Date: August 22, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019