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Dexamethasone solution

Pronunciation

Generic Name: dexamethasone (dex-a-METH-a-sone)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Dexamethasone solution is used for:

Treating certain conditions associated with decreased adrenal gland function. It is also used to treat severe inflammation due to certain conditions, including severe asthma, severe allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, certain blood disorders, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and certain eye and skin conditions. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dexamethasone solution is a corticosteroid. It works by modifying the body's immune response to various conditions and decreasing inflammation.

Do NOT use dexamethasone solution if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dexamethasone solution
  • you are taking mifepristone
  • the patient is a premature infant
  • you have a systemic fungal infection
  • you are scheduled to have a smallpox vaccine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using dexamethasone solution:

Some medical conditions may interact with dexamethasone solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of bleeding problems, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), heart attack, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, diabetes, seizures, an underactive thyroid, adrenal gland problems, or any mental or mood problems
  • if you currently have or have recently had a fungal, bacterial, viral, or other type of infection; herpes infection of the eye; chickenpox; measles; or shingles
  • if you have HIV infection or tuberculosis (TB), or if you have ever had a positive TB skin test
  • if you have any stomach problems (eg, ulcers), intestinal problems (eg, blockage, perforation, infection, unexplained diarrhea, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis), recent intestinal surgery, or inflammation of the esophagus
  • if you have weak bones (eg, osteoporosis) or muscle problems (eg, myasthenia gravis)
  • if you have had any recent vaccinations (eg, smallpox)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dexamethasone solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), lithium, or rifampin may decrease dexamethasone solution's effectiveness
  • Aprepitant, clarithromycin, cyclosporine, diltiazem, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, or troleandomycin because the risk of adrenal gland or nervous system problems may be increased
  • Aspirin, mifepristone, ritodrine, or live vaccines because the risk of their side effects of these medicines may be increased by dexamethasone solution

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dexamethasone solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dexamethasone solution:

Use dexamethasone solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dexamethasone solution is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • Do not use dexamethasone solution if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of dexamethasone solution, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dexamethasone solution.

Important safety information:

  • Dexamethasone solution may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • If you have not had chickenpox or measles, avoid contact with anyone who has either of these diseases. If you do have contact with anyone who has chickenpox or measles, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take dexamethasone solution before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Diabetes patients - Dexamethasone solution may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Check with your doctor before having immunizations (vaccinations) while you are using dexamethasone solution.
  • Serious health problems have happened when corticosteroids, including dexamethasone solution, have been given into the spine (epidural). These include paralysis, blindness, stroke, and sometimes death. Safety and effectiveness of corticosteroids given into the spine have not been confirmed. Corticosteroids are not approved for this use. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Lab Tests, including adrenal function tests or blood pressure monitoring,may be performed while you use dexamethasone solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Dexamethasone solution contains benzyl alcohol, which has been associated with serious and sometimes fatal breathing problems, in premature infants. Do NOT use dexamethasone solution in premature infants.
  • Corticosteroids may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they [take/use] dexamethasone solution.
  • Use dexamethasone solution with extreme caution in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if dexamethasone solution can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using dexamethasone solution while you are pregnant. Dexamethasone solution is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dexamethasone solution.

If you suddenly stop taking dexamethasone solution, you may experience WITHDRAWAL symptoms, including unbalanced hormones (in both men and women).

Possible side effects of dexamethasone solution:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Acne; clumsiness; dizziness; facial flushing; feeling of whirling motion; general body discomfort; headache; increased appetite; increased sweating; nausea; nervousness; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; sleeplessness; upset stomach.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; changes in body fat; changes in menstrual periods; changes in skin color; chest pain; easy bruising or bleeding; mental or mood changes (eg, depression); muscle pain, weakness, or wasting; swelling of feet or legs; seizures; severe nausea or vomiting; sudden severe dizziness or headache; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, sore throat); tendon or bone pain; thinning of the skin; unusual skin sensation; unusual weight gain; vision changes or other eye problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of dexamethasone solution:

Dexamethasone solution is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using dexamethasone solution at home, store dexamethasone solution as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep dexamethasone solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dexamethasone solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dexamethasone solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dexamethasone solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dexamethasone solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dexamethasone solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dexamethasone solution.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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