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Mannitol vs. Dexamethasone

Reviewed on 7/10/2019

Are Mannitol and Dexamethasone the Same Thing?

Mannitol injection and dexamethasone are used to treat renal (kidney) and ophthalmic (eye) diseases in different ways.

Mannitol is also used to increase urine production, and to treat or prevent medical conditions that are caused by an increase in body fluids/water.

Dexamethasone which inhibits inflammation, is also used to treat allergic states, dermatologic diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic diseases, nervous system, respiratory diseases, and rheumatic disorders.

Mannitol and dexamethasone belong to different drug classes. Mannitol is a diuretic and dexamethasone is a corticosteroid.

Side effects of mannitol and dexamethasone that are similar include headache, nausea, blurred vision/vision changes, and dizziness.

Side effects of mannitol that are different from dexamethasone include vomiting, diarrhea, dry mouth, thirst, dehydration, runny nose, arm pain, chills, low blood pressure (hypotension), hives, irregular heart beat, electrolyte imbalance, and injection site reactions (irritation, pain, swelling).

Side effects of dexamethasone that are different from mannitol include swelling, rapid weight gain, sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes, acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration, slow wound healing, increased sweating, spinning sensation, stomach pain, bloating, muscle weakness, and changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

Mannitol may interact with other drugs.

Dexamethasone may also interact with alcohol, "live" vaccines, antibiotics, antifungals, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, insulin or oral diabetes medications, medicines to treat dementia or Parkinson's disease, blood thinners, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Mannitol?

Common side effects of Mannitol include:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhea,
  • vomiting,
  • dry mouth,
  • thirst,
  • dehydration,
  • blurred vision,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • runny nose,
  • arm pain,
  • chills,
  • dizziness,
  • low blood pressure (hypotension),
  • hives,
  • irregular heart beat,
  • electrolyte imbalance, and
  • irritation/pain/swelling at the injection site.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Dexamethasone?

Common side effects of Dexamethasone include:

  • vision changes,
  • swelling,
  • rapid weight gain,
  • sleep problems (insomnia),
  • mood changes,
  • acne,
  • dry skin,
  • thinning skin,
  • bruising or discoloration,
  • slow wound healing,
  • increased sweating,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • nausea,
  • stomach pain,
  • bloating,
  • muscle weakness, or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

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

What Is Mannitol?

Mannitol I.V. (mannitol injection) is a diuretic used to increase urine production, and to treat or prevent medical conditions that are caused by an increase in body fluids/water (e.g., cerebral edema, glaucoma, kidney failure).

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.

QUESTION

The only purpose of the kidneys is to filter blood. See Answer

What Drugs Interact With Mannitol?

Mannitol may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

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.

How Should Mannitol Be Taken?

The usual adult dosage of Mannitol ranges from 50 to 200 g in a 24-hour period, but in most instances an adequate response will be achieved at a dosage of approximately 100 g/24 hours.

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.

SLIDESHOW

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References


DailyMed. Mannitol Product Information.

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=d12cc802-b538-4065-a264-f474ff3b3043


FDA. Decadron Product Information.

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