What is Dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone is a prescription medication available in various forms such as oral tablets, oral solutions, ear drops, eye drops, injectable solutions, and intraocular solutions. It is primarily used to treat conditions caused by inflammation and hormone deficiency. Some common conditions treated with Dexamethasone include allergic reactions, skin diseases, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, leukemias and lymphomas, adrenal insufficiency, and chemotherapy-induced inflammation.
It is important to note that individuals with fungal infections should not take Dexamethasone. It is also crucial to inform your doctor about any medical conditions or medications you are currently taking, as certain diseases can worsen with steroid use and some medications may interact negatively with Dexamethasone. Additionally, Dexamethasone can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections. It is important to inform your doctor about any recent illnesses or exposure to contagious diseases.
What to Know Before Taking Dexamethasone?
Prior to taking Dexamethasone, it is important to inform your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, liver disease, thyroid disorder, glaucoma or cataracts, malaria, osteoporosis, depression or other mental illnesses, herpes infection of the eyes, diabetes, muscle disorder, tuberculosis, or stomach ulcers. It is also important to discuss the use of Dexamethasone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as it may have adverse effects on the unborn child or nursing infant.
How to Take Dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to follow the dosage instructions provided on the prescription label and medication guide. Do not increase or decrease the prescribed quantity without consulting your doctor. If you need to undergo surgery, inform your doctor about your use of Dexamethasone as they may advise you to temporarily stop taking the medication. Dexamethasone can also affect the results of certain medical tests, so inform your doctor before undergoing any tests.
The appropriate dosage of Dexamethasone varies depending on factors such as age, the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, other medical issues, and concurrent medications. Your doctor will determine the best dosage for you based on these factors. The typical initial dose ranges from 0.75-9mg per day, with adjustments made as necessary.
In the event of an overdose, symptoms such as seizures, severe allergic reactions, and irregular heartbeats may occur. If an overdose is suspected, it is important to seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or the Poison helpline.
What to Avoid While Using Dexamethasone?
While using Dexamethasone, it is important to avoid close contact with individuals who are sick or have infections. If you are exposed to an infection-causing situation, inform your doctor and seek preventive treatment. It is also advisable to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages and receiving “live” vaccines while using Dexamethasone, as it may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Dexamethasone Side Effects
Common side effects of Dexamethasone include high blood pressure, high blood glucose, low potassium levels, anxiety, difficulty falling asleep, mood changes, dizziness, headache, swelling, upset stomach, vomiting, and nausea. Serious side effects may include osteoporosis, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, frequent infections, fever, joint pain, muscle aches, unusual bleeding or bruising, blood in urine, unusual dizziness, unusual fatigue, personality changes, and swelling throughout the body. If any severe side effects occur, it is important to inform your doctor and seek appropriate medical attention.
What Drugs Can Interact with Dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone can interact with various medications, including antibiotics, antifungal medicines, diuretics, heart medicines, NSAIDs, thalidomide, cyclosporine, blood thinners, cholesterol medications, Cushing’s syndrome medicines, epilepsy drugs, tuberculosis drugs, diabetes medications, hormones, and HIV medications. It is important to inform your doctor about all medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking to avoid potential interactions.