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:
- stomach upset,
- skin rash,
- increased hair growth,
- irregular menstrual periods,
- trouble sleeping,
- increased appetite,
- weight gain,
- easy bruising,
- anxiety, or
Side effects of Decadron (dexamethasone) listed above may become severe and include:
- GI bleeding,
- increased susceptibility to many types of infections, and
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 during 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 instances (for example, leukemia and nephrotic syndrome), Decadron has been used in pediatric patients. Such use should be done in most patients in conjunction with a pediatric specialist.
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.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), bone/joint pain, increased thirst/urination, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, eye pain/pressure, vision problems, heartburn, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, puffy face, swelling of the ankles/feet, stomach/abdominal pain, pain/redness/swelling of arms/legs, tiredness, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, mood swings, agitation), unusual hair/skin growth, muscle pain/cramps, weakness, easy bruising/bleeding, slow wound healing, thinning skin, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Decadron (Dexamethasone )
The following adverse reactions have been reported with DECADRON or other corticosteroids:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Decadron (Dexamethasone )