Decadron vs. Hydrocortisone

Are Decadron and Hydrocortisone the Same Thing?

Decadron (dexamethasone) and hydrocortisone are corticosteroids used to treat inflammation of the skin caused by a number of conditions such as allergic reactions, eczema, or psoriasis.

Decadron is also used to treat arthritis, blood, kidney, eye, thyroid, intestinal disorders, severe allergies, and asthma. Decadron is also used to treat certain types of cancer and occasionally, cerebral edema.

Decadron is an oral medication and hydrocortisone is a topical (for the skin) medication.

The brand name Decadron is no longer available in the U.S; it may be available as a generic.

Side effects of Decadron and hydrocortisone that are similar include nausea, headache, dizziness, acne, irregular menstrual periods, or trouble sleeping (insomnia).

Side effects of Decadron that are different from hydrocortisone include vomiting, stomach upset, skin rash, increased hair growth, increased appetite, weight gain, easy bruising, anxiety, or depression.

Side effects of hydrocortisone that are different from Decadron include skin redness/burning/itching/peeling, thinning of your skin, blistering skin, stretch marks, heartburn, or increased sweating.

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, seizure medications, rifampin, ketoconazole, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), skin tests, thalidomide, and live or inactivated vaccines.

Hydrocortisone may interact with skin products that can cause irritation, such as harsh soaps, shampoos, hair coloring or permanent chemicals, hair removers or waxes, or skin products with alcohol, spices, astringents, or lime.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Decadron?

Common side effects of Decadron 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.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Hydrocortisone?

Common side effects of Hydrocortisone include:

  • skin redness/burning/itching/peeling,
  • thinning of your skin,
  • blistering skin,
  • stretch marks,
  • nausea,
  • heartburn,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • menstrual period changes,
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia),
  • increased sweating, or
  • acne.

Tell your doctor if you have any serious side effects of Hydrocortisone Cream including blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights, uneven heartbeats, weight gain, puffiness in your face, or feeling tired.

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 Is Hydrocortisone?

Hydrocortisone (hydrocortisone) Cream 2.5% is a topical (for the skin) steroid used to treat inflammation of the skin caused by a number of conditions such as allergic reactions, eczema, or psoriasis.

SLIDESHOW

Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow

What Drugs 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 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.

What Drugs Interact With Hydrocortisone?

It is not likely other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied hydrocortisone. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, hydrocortisone should be used only when prescribed. Infants born to mothers who have been using this medication for an extended period of time may have hormone problems.

How Should Decadron Be Taken?

Decadron Tablets are available in 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.5, 2, 4 and 6 mg strengths. The initial dosage for Decadron varies from .75 to 9 mg a day depending on the disease being treated. Infants born to mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. Use in pediatric patients is recommended to be done in consultation with a pediatric specialist.

How Should Hydrocortisone Be Taken?

Dose and administration: Apply hydrocortisone cream to the affected area as a thin film 2 to 4 times daily depending on the severity of the condition.

QUESTION

Eczema (also atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis) is a general medical term for many types of skin inflammation. See Answer
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References
SOURCE:

FDA. Decadron Product Information

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2004/11664slr062_decadron_lbl.pdf

DailyMed. Hydrocortisone Product Information.

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=5f6acc2b-7a6e-7f98-e053-2991aa0a46e7

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