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Decadron

Generic Name: dexamethasone (Oral route)
Detailed drug Information for Decadron. Includes common brand names, drug descriptions, warnings, side effects and dosing information.
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Drug Information:
In the U.S. Available Dosage Forms: Therapeutic Class: Endocrine-Metabolic Agent Pharmacologic Class: Adrenal Glucocorticoid Dexamethasone prOvides relief for inflamed areas of the body. It is used to treat a number of different conditions, such as inflammation (swelling), severe allergies, adrenal problems, arthritis, asthma, blood or bone marrow problems, kidney problems, skin conditions, and flare-ups of multiple sclerosis. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid (cortisone-like medicine or steroid). It works on the immune system to help relieve swelling, redness, itching, and allergic Reactions. Learn more

Decadron Side Effects

Decadron Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about dexamethasone. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Decadron.

For the Consumer

Applies to dexamethasone: oral elixir, oral solution, oral tablet

Along with its needed effects, dexamethasone (the active ingredient contained in Decadron) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking dexamethasone:

More common

  • Aggression
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • dizziness
  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • headache
  • irritability
  • mental depression
  • mood changes
  • nervousness
  • noisy, rattling breathing
  • numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • pounding in the ears
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • trouble thinking, speaking, or walking
  • troubled breathing at rest
  • weight gain

Incidence not known

  • Abdominal cramping and/or burning (severe)
  • abdominal pain
  • backache
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • darkening of skin
  • decrease in height
  • decreased vision
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • eye pain
  • eye tearing
  • facial hair growth in females
  • fainting
  • fatigue
  • fever or chills
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fractures
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • full or round face, neck, or trunk
  • heartburn and/or indigestion (severe and continuous)
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of sexual desire or ability
  • lower back or side pain
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle pain or tenderness
  • muscle wasting or weakness
  • nausea
  • pain in back, ribs, arms, or legs
  • painful or difficult urination
  • skin rash
  • sleeplessness
  • sweating
  • trouble healing
  • trouble sleeping
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vision changes
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds

Some side effects of dexamethasone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Increased appetite

Incidence not known

  • Abnormal fat deposits on the face, neck, and trunk
  • acne
  • dry scalp
  • lightening of normal skin color
  • red face
  • reddish purple lines on the arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin
  • swelling of the stomach area
  • thinning of the scalp hair

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dexamethasone: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol with adapter, injectable solution, injectable suspension, intravenous solution, oral concentrate, oral liquid, oral tablet

General

The most commonly occurring side effects have included alteration in glucose tolerance, behavioral and mood changes, increased appetite, and weight gain; the incidence generally correlates with dosage, timing of administration, and duration of treatment.

Psychiatric

A wide range of psychiatric reactions including affective disorders (e.g., irritable, euphoric, depressed, labile mood, and suicidal ideation) psychotic reactions (e.g., mania, delusions, hallucinations, aggravation of schizophrenia), behavioral disturbances, irritability, anxiety, sleep disturbances and cognitive dysfunction (e.g., confusion, amnesia) have been reported. These reactions have been reported in adults and children. In adults, the occurrence of severe reactions has been estimated to be about 5% to 6%.

Frequency not reported: Depression, affective disorders, anxiety, emotional instability, euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, psychic disorders, confusional states, anxiety, abnormal behavior, irritability, aggravated schizophrenia

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Convulsions, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, benign intracranial hypertension, neuropathy

Gastrointestinal

Frequency not reported: Abdominal distention, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, perforation of the small and large intestine, ulcerative esophagitis, gastric hemorrhage, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea, flatulence

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema

Endocrine

Frequency not reported: Cushingoid state, hirsutism, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), moon face

Metabolic

Frequency not reported: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, hyperglycemia, glycosuria, manifestations of latent diabetes, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention, increased appetite, negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism, weight gain, metabolic acidosis, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, dyslipidemia

Ocular

Frequency not reported: Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts, blindness, chorioretinopathy, worsening of symptoms associated with corneal ulcers, retinopathy of prematurity, blurred vision

Rare instances of blindness have been associated with corticosteroid intralesional therapy around the face and head.

Cardiovascular

Frequency not reported: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis, edema

Musculoskeletal

Frequency not reported: Suppression of growth in pediatric patients, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, calcinosis, Charcot-like atrophy, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, steroid myopathy. osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, postinjection flare, tendon rupture, particularly of the Achilles tendon, vertebral compression fractures, myalgia, muscle atrophy, osteonecrosis, neuropathic arthralgia, growth retardation

Corticosteroids can cause a dose-dependent inhibition of growth in infancy, childhood, and adolescence due to it causing early closure of the epiphyses, which may be irreversible.

Dermatologic

Frequency not reported: Acne, allergic dermatitis, dry scaly skin, ecchymosis, hirsutism, petechiae, erythema, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, sterile abscess, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria, hypertrichosis, angioedema, skin atrophy, hyperhidrosis, pruritus, burning or tingling especially in the perineal area (after IV injection), telangiectasia, pigment disorders

Hematologic

Frequency not reported: Leucocytosis, lymphopenia, eosinopenia, polycythemia, abnormal coagulation, polymorphonuclear leukocytosis

Genitourinary

Frequency not reported: Menstrual irregularities, amenorrhea, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, increased urine calcium

Hepatic

Frequency not reported: Hepatomegaly, elevation in liver enzymes

Immunologic

Frequency not reported: Opportunistic infection, exacerbation of latent infections, decreased resistance to infection, immunosuppression, candidiasis, chicken pox (varicella)

Other

Frequency not reported: Vertigo, abnormal fat deposits, malaise, sterile abscess, impaired healing, fatigue, malaise

Respiratory

Frequency not reported: Hiccups, pulmonary edema

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Decadron (www.drugs.com/cons/decadron.html).