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Decadron is used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood/hormone/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). Finally, Decadron is used as replacement therapy in patients whose adrenal glands are unable to produce sufficient amounts of corticosteroids.
Dosage and direction
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. The initial oral dose is 0.75 to 9 mg daily depending on the disease. The initial dose should be adjusted based on response to therapy . Take with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. Take this medication by mouth with 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.
Do not have immunizations, vaccinations, or skin tests unless specifically directed by your doctor. Before taking Decadron, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies, your medical history: 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. 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. If you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit alcoholic beverages while taking this medication to decrease the risk of stomach/intestinal bleeding. 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.
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, breast-feeding is not recommended while using this medication.
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.
Do NOT use Decadron if you are allergic to any ingredient in Decadron, you have a systemic fungal infection, you are taking mifepristone. Contact your doctor or health care provider immediately if any of these apply to you.
Possible side effects
Side effects of Decadron 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 of and 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, headache, dizziness, menstrual changes, trouble sleeping, increased appetite, or weight gain may occur, depression, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and even psychotic behavior. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Drugs such as phenobarbital, ephedrine, phenytoin (Dilantin), and rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) may increase the breakdown of corticosteroids by the liver. As a result it may be lower blood levels and reduced effects. Therefore, the dose of corticosteroid may need to be increased if treatment with any of these agents is begun.
If you are taking this medication daily and on a regular schedule, and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Decadron should be stored at 68-77 F (20-25 C) and not frozen
We provide only general information about medications which does not cover all directions, possible drug integrations, or precautions. Information at the site cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Any specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with your health care adviser or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.