Zema Pak Side Effects

Generic Name: dexamethasone

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug dexamethasone. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Zema Pak.

It is possible that some side effects of Zema Pak may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to dexamethasone: oral elixir, oral solution, oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, dexamethasone (the active ingredient contained in Zema Pak) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking dexamethasone, check with your doctor immediately:

More common
  • Aggression
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • dizziness
  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • headache
  • irritability
  • mental depression
  • mood changes
  • nervousness
  • noisy, rattling breathing
  • numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • pounding in the ears
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • trouble thinking, speaking, or walking
  • troubled breathing at rest
  • weight gain
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal cramping and/or burning (severe)
  • abdominal pain
  • backache
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • darkening of skin
  • decrease in height
  • decreased vision
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • eye pain
  • eye tearing
  • facial hair growth in females
  • fainting
  • fatigue
  • fever or chills
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fractures
  • fruit-like breath odor
  • full or round face, neck, or trunk
  • heartburn and/or indigestion (severe and continuous)
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of sexual desire or ability
  • lower back or side pain
  • menstrual irregularities
  • muscle pain or tenderness
  • muscle wasting or weakness
  • nausea
  • pain in back, ribs, arms, or legs
  • painful or difficult urination
  • skin rash
  • sleeplessness
  • sweating
  • trouble healing
  • trouble sleeping
  • unexplained weight loss
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vision changes
  • vomiting
  • vomiting of material that looks like coffee grounds

Some dexamethasone side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

More common
  • Increased appetite
Incidence not known
  • Abnormal fat deposits on the face, neck, and trunk
  • acne
  • dry scalp
  • lightening of normal skin color
  • red face
  • reddish purple lines on the arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin
  • swelling of the stomach area
  • thinning of the scalp hair

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to dexamethasone: compounding powder, inhalation aerosol with adapter, injectable solution, injectable suspension, intravenous solution, oral concentrate, oral liquid, oral tablet

Cardiovascular

Cardiovascular side effects have included bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction, edema, pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis and vasculitis.

Musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal side effects have included muscle weakness, steroid myopathy, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humoral heads, pathologic fracture of long bones, and tendon rupture.

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have included peptic ulcer with potential perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of small and large bowel, pancreatitis, abdominal distention, nausea, increased appetite, and ulcerative esophagitis.

Endocrine

Endocrine side effects have included development of cushingoid state, suppression of growth in children, and secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness.

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included convulsions, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema, vertigo, myalgia, arthralgia, malaise, headache, hiccups, and psychic disturbances.

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects have included negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism, decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, weight gain, hirsutism, hypokalemic alkalosis, and increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics.

Ocular

Ocular side effects have included posterior subcapsular cataracts, increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and exophthalmos.

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects have included impaired wound healing, thin fragile skin, petechiae and ecchymoses, dry scaly skin, erythema, acne, thinning scalp hair, urticaria, increased sweating, rash, striae, allergic dermatitis, urticaria, angioneurotic edema, and suppression of skin test reactions.

Psychiatric

Psychiatric side effects have included euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, severe depression, and psychotic manifestations.

Hematologic

Hematologic side effects have included rare reports of thromboembolism.

Genitourinary

Genitourinary effects have included increase/decrease in motility and number of spermatozoa in men and menstrual irregularities in women.

Hepatic

Hepatic side effects have included reports of reversible hepatomegaly. Three case reports of children treated with high dose dexamethasone (the active ingredient contained in Zema Pak) describe the earliest diagnosis of hepatomegaly as early as 8 days from the start of therapy.

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity side effects have included anaphylactoid reactions, anaphylaxis and angioedema.

Renal

Renal side effects have included fluid retention, sodium retention, and potassium loss,

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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