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Dexamethasone vs. Kenalog

Are Dexamethasone and Kenalog the Same Thing?

Dexamethasone and Kenalog (triamcinolone acetonide) are corticosteroids.

Dexamethasone is used for allergic states and allergic reactions, dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic diseases, nervous system, ophthalmic diseases, renal diseases, rheumatic disorders, and respiratory diseases.

Kenalog is injected into the joint space to treat inflammation of the joints or tendons to treat arthritis, bursitis, or epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Kenalog is also injected into soft tissues of the body to treat certain skin disorders caused by autoimmune conditions such as lupus, psoriasis, lichen planus, and others.

Brand names for dexamethasone include Ozurdex and DexPak 6 Day or 13 Day.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Dexamethasone?

Common side effects of Dexamethasone include:

Rare instances of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy such as dexamethasone.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Kenalog?

Common side effects of Kenalog include:

  • allergic reactions,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • mood swings,
  • headache,
  • euphoria,
  • spinning sensation (vertigo),
  • dizziness,
  • nausea,
  • bloating,
  • appetite changes,
  • stomach or side pain,
  • stomach upset,
  • acne,
  • scaling or other skin changes,
  • a wound that is slow to heal,
  • thinning hair,
  • bruising or swelling,
  • sweating more than usual,
  • irregular menstrual periods,
  • redness or pain at the injection site, or
  • weight gain.

QUESTION

Allergies can best be described as: See Answer

What is Dexamethasone?

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid indicated for allergic states, dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic diseases, nervous system, ophthalmic diseases, renal diseases, respiratory diseases, and rheumatic disorders. Dexamethasone is available as a generic.

What is Kenalog?

Kenalog-40 (triamcinolone acetonide) is a corticosteroid indicated for intramuscular or intraarticular use only in allergic states, dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, hematologic disorders, renal diseases, respiratory diseases, rheumatic disorders, and nervous system disorders where oral therapy is not feasible. Kenalog-40 is available as a generic drug.

What Drugs Interact With Dexamethasone?

Dexamethasone may interact with aspirin (taken on a daily basis or at high doses), insulin or oral diabetes medications, blood thinners, cyclosporine, rifampin, or seizure medications.

Dexamethasone may also interact with diuretics (water pills) or ketoconazole.

What Drugs Interact With Kenalog?

Kenalog may interact with aspirin (taken on a daily basis or at high doses), insulin or oral diabetes medications, blood thinners, cyclosporine, rifampin, or seizure medications.

Kenalog may also interact with aminoglutethimide, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, digoxin, isoniazid, antibiotics, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

SLIDESHOW

Could I Be Allergic? Discover Your Allergy Triggers See Slideshow

How Should Dexamethasone Be Taken?

Dexamethasone Tablets are available in 0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.5, 2, 4 and 6 mg strengths. The initial dosage for Dexamethasone 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 Kenalog Be Taken?

The usual suggested initial dose of Kenalog-40 is 60 mg, injected deeply into the gluteal muscle. Dosage is usually adjusted within the range of 40 mg to 80 mg, depending upon patient response and duration of relief. However, some patients may be well controlled on doses as low as 20 mg or less. Many doses are based on the patient's response to the medication and can be quite variable.

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References
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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