Decadron vs. Solu-Medrol

Are Decadron and Solu-Medrol the Same Thing?

Decadron (dexamethasone) and Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) are corticosteroids used to treat arthritis, skin, gastrointestinal diseases, allergic conditions, and several other conditions.

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.

Side effects of Decadron and Solu-Medrol that are similar include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, acne, irregular menstrual periods, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, weight gain, or easy bruising.

Side effects of Decadron that are different from Solu-Medrol include stomach upset, skin rash, increased hair growth, anxiety, or depression.

Side effects of Solu-Medrol that are different from Decadron include fluid retention, high blood pressure, potassium loss, muscle weakness, puffiness of the face, hair growth on the face, thinning of the skin, glaucoma, cataracts, peptic ulcers, high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), growth retardation in children, convulsions, heartburn, increased sweating, psychiatric disturbances, and injection site reactions (pain, redness, or swelling).

Both Decadron and Solu-Medrol may interact with amphotericin B, blood thinners, antidiabetic agents, estrogens, ketoconazole, rifampin, and some vaccines.

Decadron may also interact with aminoglutethimide, potassium-depleting agents (diuretics), macrolide antibiotics, anticholinesterases, antitubercular drugs, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, dexamethasone suppression tests (DST), digitalis glycosides, ephedrine, oral contraceptives, barbiturates, seizure medications, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), skin tests, and thalidomide.

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 Solu-Medrol?

Common side effects of Solu-Medrol include:

  • fluid retention,
  • weight gain,
  • high blood pressure,
  • potassium loss,
  • headache,
  • muscle weakness,
  • puffiness of the face,
  • hair growth on the face,
  • thinning and easy bruising of the skin,
  • glaucoma,
  • cataracts,
  • peptic ulcers,
  • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia),
  • irregular menstrual periods,
  • growth retardation in children,
  • convulsions,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • heartburn,
  • dizziness,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • appetite changes,
  • increased sweating,
  • acne,
  • psychiatric disturbances, and
  • injection site reactions (pain, redness, or swelling).

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 Solu-Medrol?

Solu-Medrol (methylprednisolone) is a synthetic corticosteroid used for severe or incapacitating allergic conditions, dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, rheumatic disorders, and several other conditions.

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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 Solu-Medrol?

Corticosteroids suppress the immune system and predispose patients to bacterial, fungal, or viral infections. Solu-medrol interacts with live vaccines, amphotericin B, erythromycin, warfarin, antidiabetic agents, estrogens, ketoconazole, and rifampin. It has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant or nursing women. Abruptly stopping Solu-medrol can cause symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency.

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 Solu-Medrol Be Taken?

Dosing depends on the condition being treated.

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References
SOURCE:

FDA. Decadron Product Information

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

FDA. Solu-Medrol Product Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/011856s103s104lbl.pdf

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