Decadron

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

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Decadron?

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 Side Effects of Decadron?

Side effects of Decadron (dexamethasone) may include:

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

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

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors;
  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel visioneye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out.

Dosage for Decadron

Decadron is available in strengths of 0.5 and 0.75 mg tablets.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Decadron?

Decadron may interact with aminoglutethimide, potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), macrolide antibiotics, anticholinesterases, oral anticoagulants, antidiabetics, antitubercular drugs, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, dexamethasone suppression tests (DST), digitalis glycosides, ephedrine, estrogens, and oral contraceptives, barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin, ketoconazole, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), phenytoin, skin tests, thalidomide, and live or inactivated vaccines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use and all vaccines you recently received.

Decadron During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Decadron should be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus or infant.

Infants may suffer adrenal suppression if their mothers use this drug during pregnancy.

In special cases (for example, leukemia and nephrotic syndrome), the Decadron has been used in pediatric patients. Such use should be done in most patients in conjunction with a pediatric specialist.

Additional Information

Our Decadron Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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.

QUESTION

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease. See Answer
Decadron Professional Information

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SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse reactions have been reported with DECADRON or other corticosteroids:

Allergic Reactions

Anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.

Cardiovascular

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 (see WARNINGS, Cardio-Renal), edema, pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.

Dermatologic

Acne, allergic dermatitis, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, erythema, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, striae, suppression of reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.

Endocrine

Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, hyperglycemia, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.

Fluid And Electrolyte Disturbances

Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention, tumor lysis syndrome.

Gastrointestinal

Abdominal distention, elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.

Metabolic

Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.

Musculoskeletal

Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.

Neurological/Psychiatric

Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.

Ophthalmic

Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.

Other

Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, malaise, moon face, weight gain.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Decadron (Dexamethasone )

SLIDESHOW

What Is Asthma? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments See Slideshow

© Decadron Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Decadron Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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