Dexamethasone: What is it? Uses, Warnings, Precautions and How to Take

You can find the name Decadron and it belongs to a group of medicines called Corticosteroids.

Corticosteroids are hormones that are found naturally in your body and help keep you healthy and healthy. Taking additional corticosteroids, such as Dexamethasone, is used to treat various diseases related to inflammation in the body.

Dexamethasone reduces inflammation, which otherwise could continue to worsen your condition. You should take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it.

Dexamethasone can be used to:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Rheumatism (pain, stiffness or limited movement in the joints, muscles and tendons).
  • Inflammations that include inflammation of the joints and tissue around the joint (rheumatoid arthritis), inflammation of the skin (such as contact dermatitis), the eye, blood vessels and other parts of the body.
  • Allergic conditions that cause joint pain, rashes and fever.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions (allergic reactions) to other drugs or insect bites.
  • Anaphylactic shock (severe sudden allergic reaction).
  • Asthma.
  • Possible rejection of an organ or tissue transplant.
  • Disorders of the adrenal gland.
  • Inflammation of the brain and part of the treatment for some types of cancer.
  • Lupus erythematosus.

You should talk to a doctor if you do not feel better or if you feel worse.

What do you need to know before taking Dexamethasone?

Do not take Dexamethasone:

  • If you have a stomach or intestinal ulcer.
  • If you have a general infection (caused by a virus or a fungus).
  • If you are allergic to Dexamethasone or any of the other ingredients of this medicine.
  • Signs of an allergic reaction include a rash, itching, or shortness of breath.
  • If you have a parasitic infection.
  • If you have recently been vaccinated with a live vaccine (especially chickenpox).
  • Do not take this medication if any of the above apply to you.

Warnings and precautions

Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking Dexamethasone:

  • If you have ever had severe depression or manic-depressive (bipolar disorder). This includes having had depression before taking steroid medications such as Dexamethasone.
  • If any of your close family has had these diseases.
  • Mental problems when taking Dexamethasone
  • Mental health problems can occur when taking steroids such as Dexamethasone tablets
  • These diseases can be serious.
  • They usually start within a few days or weeks of starting the medication.
  • They are more likely to occur in high doses.

Most of these problems disappear if the dose is reduced or the medication is stopped. However, if problems occur, they may need treatment.

Talk to a doctor if you (or someone who takes this medicine) shows signs of mental problems. This is particularly important if you are depressed or might be thinking about committing suicide. In some cases, mental problems have occurred when doses are reduced or stopped.

Inform your doctor if you have symptoms of tumor lysis syndrome, such as muscle cramps, muscle weakness, confusion, visual loss or alterations and difficulty breathing, if you have a hematological malignancy .

If you have been using Dexamethasone for a longer period, the therapy will never be stopped abruptly. If during a prolonged therapy occurs an intercurrent disease, trauma or surgical procedure, your doctor may decide to increase the dose temporarily.

Dexamethasone may mask the symptoms of an infection and new infections may develop during therapy. Vaccines should, under certain circumstances, not be given during therapy. Your doctor will decide for you if this is relevant to you.

Exposure to chickenpox, herpes zoster or measles should be avoided, if you have not had these diseases before, during therapy. Contact your doctor if, for any reason, you have been exposed to varicella or measles during therapy.

The common side effects of Dexamethasone may be associated with more serious consequences in old age, especially osteoporosis, high blood pressure, low levels of potassium in the blood, diabetes, susceptibility to infections and thinning of the skin.

Additional supervision from your doctor is necessary

Contact your doctor if you experience blurred vision or other visual disturbances.

Before you are given Dexamethasone, it is also important to tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:

  • Fragile bones (osteoporosis).
  • High blood pressure or heart disease.
  • Mental illness.
  • Diabetes (or family history of diabetes).
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Certain visual alterations (glaucoma).
  • Muscle disease (myopathy induced by glucocorticoids).
  • Liver disease (liver failure).
  • Kidney disease (kidney failure).
  • Epilepsy.
  • Peptic ulcer.

If you are not sure if any of the above refers to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using Dexamethasone.


Additional supervision is needed from your doctor when Dexamethasone is used to treat children since glucocorticoids can affect growth.

Dexamethasone should not be used routinely in preterm infants with respiratory problems. Other medicines and Dexamethasone Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might have to take any other medicine.

Other medications can affect how Dexamethasone works or Dexamethasone can affect the way these medicines work.

In particular:

  • Medications used to treat epilepsy such as phenobarbitone, phenytoin, primidone and carbamazepine.
  • Medicines used to treat tuberculosis such as Rifampin and Rifabutin.
  • Drugs used to treat certain cancers, such as Aminoglutethimide.
  • Antidiabetic drugs used to control blood sugar levels, including insulin.
  • Medications used to control blood pressure and diuretics (to stimulate urination).
  • Medications used to treat myasthenia gravis, such as anticholinesterases.
  • Use of certain diuretics (diuretics that deplete potassium acetazolamide, loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics or Carbenoxolone) during treatment with Dexamethasone may cause Hypokalemia (shortage of potassium).
  • Certain anticoagulants used to prevent blood clots such as coumarins.

The elimination of salicylates (eg, aspirin) increases during treatment with Dexamethasone. Therefore, if you stop using Dexamethasone, the dose of salicylates should be reduced to prevent blood levels from being too high and causing unwanted effects.

The combination of corticosteroids with medications that can cause stomach ulcers (eg, pain killers such as aspirin, ibuprofen) increases the risk of ulcers.

Dexamethasone may decrease the effects of drugs that are broken down in the body by an enzyme in the liver (CYP 3A4), for example, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, Indinavir) and certain antibiotics (eg, Erythromycin).

Some medicines can increase the effects of Dexamethasone and your doctor can control it carefully if you are taking these medicines (including some medicines for HIV: Ritonavir, Cobicistat).


Pregnancy should not be used for a prolonged period during pregnancy. If you receive Dexamethasone frequently or for a prolonged period during pregnancy, there may be a risk that the baby’s growth will slow down.


It is not known whether Dexamethasone is excreted or not in breast milk. Therefore, breast-feeding is discouraged during treatment with Dexamethasone.

Driving and using machines Glucocorticoids can cause changes in mood or visual disturbances.

If you notice this, you should exercise caution when operating and operating machinery. Dexamethasone contains lactose. If your doctor has told you that you have an intolerance to some sugars, consult your doctor before taking this medicine.

How to take Dexamethasone?

Always take this medication exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. Take this medicine Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take. This will depend on your illness and how bad it is.

Take this medication by mouth. Treat the tablets with a little water. Take the tablets at about the same time every day, preferably in the morning. Dosage for adults: the usual dose is 0.5 mg to 10 mg every day.

When it improves, the dose will gradually decrease, preferably to a morning dose on alternate days. If you take more Dexamethasone than you should If you took more Dexamethasone than you should, consult a doctor or pharmacist immediately.

If you forget to take Dexamethasone

If you stop taking Dexamethasone, it can be dangerous to stop taking this medicine suddenly. If you need to stop this treatment, follow the advice of your doctor.

He or she can tell you to decrease the amount of medication you take gradually until you stop taking it completely. If you stop taking this medicine too quickly, your condition may get worse.

You may also feel a “withdrawal symptom.” These may include headache, problems with vision (including pain or swelling in the eye), feeling unwell, fever, pain in the muscles and joints, swelling inside the nose, weight loss, itching in the skin and conjunctivitis.

If you have further questions about the use of this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

When treatment with Dexamethasone is stopped

After therapy with Dexamethasone for a longer period, the dose should be gradually reduced to prevent relapse of the disease and allow the adrenal gland to return to normal function.