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Dexamethasone Patient Information Including Side Effects
Brand Names: Baycadron, Dexamethasone Intensol, DexPak 10 Day Taperpak, DexPak 13 DayTaperpak, DexPak 6 DayTaperpak, Dexpak Jr. Taperpak, Zema Pak 10-Day, Zema Pak 13-Day, Zema Pak 6-Day
Generic Name: dexamethasone (oral) (Pronunciation: dex a METH a sone)
- What is dexamethasone (Dexamethasone)?
- What are the possible side effects of dexamethasone?
- What is the most important information I should know about dexamethasone?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dexamethasone?
- How should I take dexamethasone?
- What happens if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I overdose?
- What should I avoid while taking dexamethasone?
- What other drugs will affect dexamethasone?
- Where can I get more information?
What is dexamethasone (Dexamethasone)?
Dexamethasone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Dexamethasone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.
Dexamethasone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Decadron 4 mg
pentagonal, white, imprinted with MSD 97, DECADRON
Dexamethasone 0.25 mg-PAR
pentagonal, orange, imprinted with par 083
Dexamethasone 0.5 mg-PAR
pentagonal, yellow, imprinted with par 084
Dexamethasone 0.5 mg-ROX
round, yellow, imprinted with 54 299
Dexamethasone 0.75 mg-PAR
pentagonal, blue, imprinted with par 085
Dexamethasone 0.75 mg-ROX
round, blue, imprinted with 54 960
Dexamethasone 1 mg-ROX
round, yellow, imprinted with 54 489
Dexamethasone 1.5 mg-ROX
round, pink, imprinted with 54 943
round, white, imprinted with 54 662
Dexamethasone 4 mg-PAR
pentagonal, white, imprinted with par 097
Dexamethasone 4 mg-ROX
round, green, imprinted with 54 892
Dexamethasone 6 mg-PAR
pentagonal, green, imprinted with PAR 129
Dexamethasone 6 mg-ROX
round, turquoise, imprinted with 54 769
What are the possible side effects of dexamethasone?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- problems with your vision;
- swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
- severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
- pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);
- low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
- dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).
Less serious side effects may include:
- sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;
- acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
- slow wound healing;
- increased sweating;
- headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
- nausea, stomach pain, bloating;
- muscle weakness; or
- changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
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.
Read the Dexamethasone (dexamethasone) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »
What is the most important information I should know about dexamethasone?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to dexamethasone, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
Before taking dexamethasone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.
Your steroid medication needs may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you during treatment.
Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are taking dexamethasone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are taking a steroid.
Do not stop using dexamethasone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.
Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take dexamethasone. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are using a steroid.
Additional Dexamethasone Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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