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What is Dexamethasone?

Dexamethasone is available under the brand name called DexPak; it belongs to the class of medication known as Corticosteroids. It got approved for medical use in the year of 1961. Dexamethasone has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant effects. Dexamethasone is available in various forms, such as oral tablets, injections, ointments, and topical ophthalmic solutions for the eyes. It is available only with a proper prescription from a doctor.

What are the uses of Dexamethasone?

Doctors prescribe Dexamethasone tablets to treat the following medical condition:

  • Inflammation in the body
  • Allergies
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and acute gouty arthritis
  • Skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, pemphigus, severe erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, severe seborrheic dermatitis, severe psoriasis, or mycosis fungoides
  • Flare-ups of intestinal diseases, such as ulcerative colitis
  • Flare-ups of multiple sclerosis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Respiratory disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Shock
  • Pretreatment for chemotherapy
  • Leukemias
  • Lymphomas
  • Adrenal inefficiency
  • Any other condition as they determine

How does Dexamethasone works?

As mentioned above, Dexamethasone belongs to the class of medication known as Corticosteroids. It works by blocking the immune system’s response to inflammation.

What precautions to take while using Dexamethasone?

Please do take the following precautions while taking Dexamethasone:

  • You should take medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Please do not take it more often than prescribed.
  • You should not take Dexamethasone if you are allergic to it or any of its components or you are suffering from a fungal infection anywhere in the body.
  • To ensure that taking Dexamethasone is safe for you, you should tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following health-related issues:
  1. Liver disease
  2. Thyroid disorder
  3. Malaria
  4. Tuberculosis
  5. Osteoporosis
  6. Muscles disorder such as Myasthenia gravis
  7. Diabetes
  8. Glaucoma
  9. Cataract
  10. Herpes infection in the eyes
  11. Ulcers in the stomach
  12. Ulcerative colitis
  13. Diverticulitis
  14. Inflammatory bowel disease
  15. Depression
  16. Any other mental illnesses
  17. Congestive heart failure or history thereof
  18. High blood pressure
  • Lactating mothers and expecting women should not take this medication without consulting their doctor.
  • It is best to frequently visit your doctor and take proper body checkups to avoid Dexamethasone’s unpleasant and unwanted effects.
  • Please avoid medical errors.
  • It is a part of treatment only; to make the medicine work more effectively and follow your doctor’s advice more carefully.
  • Tell your health expert if you are on any over-the-counter medication.
  • Please don’t stop taking Dexamethasone suddenly; otherwise, you may suffer through the withdrawal symptoms.
  • Dexamethasone may affect specific medical tests; tell your pathologist that you are on this medication.
  • You can consult your doctor to learn more about the risks and benefits associated with Dexamethasone.
  • It is best not to take alcoholic drinks while using Dexamethasone; it may increase the risk of certain side effects.
  • Avoid direct contact with the infected people.
  • Please don’t take any live vaccines while using this medication. Live vaccines mean vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), oral polio, rotavirus, oral typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), and subcutaneous zoster.
  • There are no specific Dexamethasone overdose symptoms, but if you ever feel uneasy after taking this medicine, you should immediately consult your doctor and ask for medical help. You can also avail of emergency medical assistance by calling the poison helpline number at 1-800-222-1222.

What are Dexamethasone side effects?

Some of the most common side effects of using Dexamethasone are as follows:

  • Fluid retention in the body
  • Change in the appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Skin rashes
  • Bruising
  • Skin-discoloration
  • Acne
  • Increased sweating
  • Excessive hair growth on the body
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Irregular menstruation cycle
  • Unusual weight gain

You should stop taking medicine and consult your doctor if you experience the following health issues:

  • Tightness in the muscles
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Seeing halos around the light
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mild exertion
  • Swelling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Severe depression
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures or convulsion
  • Bloody or tarry stools
  • Coughing up blood
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Weak or slow pulse rate
  • Pancreatitis resulting in severe pain in the upper stomach, nausea, vomiting, etc
  • Low potassium level in the body- leg cramps, constipation, irregular heartbeats, fluttering in the chest, increase urination, unusual thirst, numbness, or tingling
  • High blood pressure resulting in headache, blurred vision, pounding in the neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed, etc
  • Any other allergic reaction to the medicine

You must report to your doctor from time to time if you ever experience any new symptoms or your symptoms are getting even worse.

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