Decadron (dexamethasone) is a corticosteroid that is used to treat a wide variety of conditions. These include inflammatory conditions, allergies, and blood disorders. Decadron is available in generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name versions.
Decadron may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use Decadron if you are allergic to dexamethasone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
To make sure you can safely take Decadron, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- a history of tuberculosis;
- ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease;
- a history of mental illness or psychosis;
- high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, recent heart attack;
- kidney disease;
- osteoporosis or other bone disorders;
- myasthenia gravis;
- glaucoma or cataracts;
- herpes simplex of the eye;
- a thyroid disorder;
- seizures or epilepsy;
- a history of malaria; or
- if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Decadron will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Decadron can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Decadron.
How should I take Decadron?
Use Decadron exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Decadron is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Decadron at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Decadron. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Do not use this medication if it looks cloudy or if it has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your adrenal gland function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time if you have taken a steroid in the past few months. You may need to avoid taking Decadron for a short time after the surgery.
Decadron can weaken your immune system. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with Decadron. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
- swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
- severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, confusion, hallucinations;
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
- thin skin, easy bruising, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist);
- high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor);
- low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
- signs of infection (fever, chills, body aches, cough, sore throat).
Less serious Decadron side effects may include:
- mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation;
- increased appetite, weight gain;
- acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
- slow wound healing;
- changes in the shape or location of body fat;
- headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- increased sweating; or
- mild itching or skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
- Decadron (dexamethasone)
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