By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Dectancyl Brand Name(s): Dectancyl and Dectancyl.


What is Dectancyl® (dexamethasone) used for?

Dectancyl® is commonly used for treating conditions such as arthritis, blood disorders, hormone disorders, immune system disorders, allergic reactions, certain skin and eye conditions, breathing problems, certain bowel disorders. Also, it is used in the treatment of cancers of the white blood cells (leukemias), and lymph gland cancers (lymphomas).

Dectancyl® is used as replacement therapy in patients whose adrenal glands are unable to produce sufficient amounts of corticosteroids.

How should I take Dectancyl® (dexamethasone)?

Take Dectancyl® by mouth as directed by your doctor. Take with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. Take this medication by mouth with food or a full glass of water or milk unless your doctor directs you otherwise. If you take this medication once daily, take it in the morning before 9 AM. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Take it at the same time(s) each day.

It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Follow the dosing schedule carefully, and take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens.

How do I store Dectancyl® (dexamethasone)?

Dectancyl® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Dectancyl® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Dectancyl® 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 Dectancyl® 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 Dectancyl® (dexamethasone)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient of Dectancyl®.
  • You have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication.
  • If you have diabetes, this drug may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and inform your doctor of the results.

Do not get immunizations, vaccinations, or skin tests unless specifically directed by your doctor.

If you have been taking this medication for a long time, your body may not make enough natural hormones while you are under physical stress. Your dose may need to be adjusted. If you have stopped taking this drug within the past 12 months, you may need to start taking it again if your body is under physical stress.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have taken it within the last 12 months.

Limit alcoholic beverages while taking this medication to decrease the risk of stomach/intestinal bleeding.

Avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose, chickenpox or measles unless you have previously had these diseases (in childhood). If you are exposed to one of these infections and you have not previously had it, seek immediate medical attention.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?


During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.


This drug may pass into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breastfeeding is not recommended while using this medication.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Dectancyl® (dexamethasone)?

Side effects of Dectancyl® depend on the dose, the duration and the frequency of administration. Short courses of dexamethasone usually are well tolerated with few and mild side effects. Long term, high dose dexamethasone usually will produce predictable and potentially serious side effects. Whenever possible, the lowest effective dose of dexamethasone should be used for the shortest possible length of time to minimize side effects. Alternate day dosing also can help reduce side effects.

Side effects include:

  • Fluid retention
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of potassium
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Puffiness
  • Hair growth on the face
  • Thinning and easy bruising of skin
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Peptic ulceration
  • Worsening of diabetes
  • Irregular menses
  • Growth retardation in children
  • Convulsions
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Menstrual changes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased appetite
  • Depression
  • Euphoria
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes
  • Psychotic behavior

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 Dectancyl® (dexamethasone)?

Dectancyl® 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 may interact with this drug, including:

  • Phenobarbital
  • Ephedrine
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
  • Mifepristone

Does food or alcohol interact with Dectancyl® (dexamethasone)?

Dectancyl® 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 Dectancyl® (dexamethasone)?

Dectancyl® 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.

These health conditions are:

  • Active fungal infections
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Mental/mood conditions
  • Low blood minerals
  • Thyroid disease
  • Stomach/intestinal problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Eye diseases
  • Brittle bones
  • History of blood clots
  • A systemic fungal infection


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Dectancyl® (dexamethasone).

What is the dose of Dectancyl® (dexamethasone) for an adult?

The initial oral dose is 0.75 to 9 mg daily, depending on the disease. The initial dose should be adjusted according to the response to therapy

What is the dose of Dectancyl® (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 Dectancyl® (dexamethasone) available?

Dectancyl® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet; Oral; Dexamethasone Acetate 0.5 mg

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 Dectancyl®, 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.


Review Date: February 17, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019