Medical Reviewer: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 6/27/2022

What is Decadron and how is it used?

Decadron (dexamethasone) is a corticosteroid, similar to a natural hormone produced by the adrenal glands, used to treat arthritis, skin, blood, kidney, eye, thyroid, intestinal disorders, severe allergies, and asthma. Decadron is also used to treat certain types of cancer and occasionally, cerebral edema. The brand name Decadron is no longer available in the U.S; it may be available as a generic.

What are the side effects of Decadron?

Side effects of Decadron (dexamethasone) may include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach upset,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • acne,
  • skin rash,
  • increased hair growth,
  • irregular menstrual periods,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • increased appetite,
  • weight gain,
  • easy bruising,
  • anxiety, or
  • depression.

Side effects of Decadron (dexamethasone) listed above may become severe and include:

  • GI bleeding,
  • increased susceptibility to many types of infections, and
  • swelling.


DECADRON® (dexamethasone tablets, USP) tablets, for oral administration, are supplied in two potencies, 0.5 mg, and 0.75 mg. Inactive ingredients are calcium phosphate, lactose, magnesium stearate, and starch. Tablets DECADRON 0.5 mg also contain D&C Yellow 10 and FD&C Yellow 6. Tablets DECADRON 0.75 mg also contain FD&C Blue 1.

The molecular weight for dexamethasone is 392.47. It is designated chemically as 9-fluoro-11β,17,21trihydroxy-16α-methylpregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione. The empirical formula is C22H29FO5 and the structural formula is:

DECADRON® (DEXAMETHASONE) Structural Formula Illustration

Dexamethasone, a synthetic adrenocortical steroid, is a white to practically white, odorless, crystalline powder. It is stable in the air. It is practically insoluble in water.