DEXAMETHASONE 2 MG/5 ML ORAL SOLUTION

Active substance: DEXAMETHASONE SODIUM PHOSPHATE

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Dexamethasone 2mg/5ml Oral Solution

Strength:

2mg/5ml Oral Solution

PIL - NON PRINT version

Pack size: 150ml pack

P0000

Version

001

Date started

19.05.2011

Finished size: 4pp - 210mm high x 175mm wide (folded)
210mm high x 350mm wide (flat)

175mm wide

PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET

DEXAMETHASONE 2 MG/5 ML ORAL SOLUTION
(Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate)

Important information about this medicine

Dexamethasone is a steroid medicine, prescribed for many different conditions, including serious illnesses
You need to take it regularly to get the maximum benefit
Don’t stop taking this medicine without talking to your doctor – you may need to reduce the dose gradually
Dexamethasone can cause side effects in some people (read section 4: Possible side effects). Some problems
such as mood changes (feeling depressed, or ‘high’), or stomach problems can happen straight away. If you feel
unwell, in any way, keep taking your medicine, but see your doctor straight away
• Some side effects only happen after weeks or months. These include weakness of arms and legs,
or developing a rounder face (read section 4 for more information)
• If you take it for more than 3 weeks, in the UK, you will get a blue ‘steroid card’: always keep it with you and
show it to any doctor or nurse treating you
• Keep away from people who have chicken-pox or shingles, if you have never had them. They could affect you
severely. If you do come into contact with chicken pox or shingles, see your doctor straight away.





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high

PIL Code

Read all of this leaflet carefully because it contains important information for you.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
• If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
• This medicine has been prescribed for you. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their symptoms are the
same as yours.
• If any of the side effects become serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor
or pharmacist.
In this leaflet:
1. What is DEXAMETHASONE and what is it used for?
2. What you need to know before you take
DEXAMETHASONE
3. How to take DEXAMETHASONE
4. Possible side effects
5. Storing DEXAMETHASONE
6. Further information
1. What is DEXAMETHASONE and what is
it used for?
The name of this medicine is Dexamethasone 2 mg/5 ml Oral Solution.
It contains Dexamethasone sodium phosphate. Dexamethasone
belongs to a group of medicines called corticosteroids.
Corticosteroids are hormones that are found naturally in your body that
help to keep you healthy and well. Boosting your body with extra
corticosteroid, such as Dexamethasone, is an effective way to treat
various illnesses involving inflammation in the body. Dexamethasone
lowers inflammation, which could otherwise go on making your
condition worse. You must take this medicine regularly to get maximum
benefit from it.
This medicine can be used for:
• Replacing natural corticosteroids when levels have been reduced
• Reducing swelling of the brain which is not caused by a head injury
• Treating swelling (inflammation) and certain allergies
• Treating cancer
• Controlling how well your adrenal glands work. These are glands that
are next to your kidneys
• Croup in babies and children. This affects the windpipe and the two
airways that branch off from it to the lungs. The top of the airway is
slightly blocked causing the barking cough, hoarse voice, a harsh
sound (known as ‘stridor’) and breathing difficulties.

You may be using this medicine for a different reason.
Ask your doctor why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
2. What you need to know before you take
DEXAMETHASONE
Do not take DEXAMETHASONE and consult your doctor if:
• You are allergic (hypersensitive) to Dexamethasone or any other
ingredients in this liquid (listed in Section 6). The signs of an allergic
reaction include a rash, itching or shortness of breath
• You have an infection (including fungal infections) that affects the
whole body, unless You are being treated for the infection
• You have an ulcer in your stomach (peptic ulcer) or digestive tract
area (duodenal ulcer)
• You have an infection with tropical worms
Check with your doctor first:
• If you have ever had severe depression or manic depression (bipolar
disorder). This includes having had depression before while taking
steroid medicines like dexamethasone.
• If any of your close family has had these illnesses.
If either of these applies to you, talk to a doctor before taking
Dexamethasone.
Mental problems while taking DEXAMETHASONE
Mental health problems can happen while taking steroids like
Dexamethasone (see also section 4: Possible side effects).
• These illnesses can be serious
• Usually they start within a few days or weeks of starting the medicine
• They are more likely to happen at high doses

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• Most of these problems go away if the dose is lowered or the
medicine is stopped. However, if problems do happen, they might
need treatment.
Talk to a doctor if you (or someone taking this medicine), show any
signs of mental problems. This is particularly important if you are
depressed, or might be thinking about suicide. In a few cases, mental
problems have happened when doses are being lowered or stopped.
Warnings and precautions
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking your medicine if
you have:
• Kidney or liver problems
• High blood pressure, heart disease or you have recently had a heart
attack
• Diabetes or there is a family history of diabetes
• Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), particularly if you are a female
who has been through the menopause
• Had muscle weakness with this or other steroids in the past
• Raised eye pressure (glaucoma) or there is a family history of
glaucoma
• A condition causing muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis)
• A bowel problem or a stomach (peptic) ulcer
• Mental problems or you have had a mental illness which was made
worse by this type of medicine
• Epilepsy
• Migraines
• Had an allergy or unusual reaction to corticosteroids
• An underactive thyroid gland
• An infection with parasites
• Tuberculosis, septicaemia or a fungal infection in the eye
• Malaria that affects the brain (cerebral malaria)
• Herpes, including cold sores or genital herpes
• Asthma
• You have stunted growth
If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor
or pharmacist before taking Dexamethasone.
More important information about taking this kind of medicine
Taking this medicine can cause problems with your kidneys. This
means that you must stop taking this medicine gradually if you have
been taking it for a long time.
Tell your doctor if you get ill, injured or have an operation while you are
taking this medicine. This is because they may need to increase your
dose during this time.
If you develop an infection while you are taking this medicine, you
should talk to your doctor.
Please tell any doctor, dentist or person who may be giving you
treatment that you are currently taking steroids or have taken them in
the past.
If you are living in the UK, you should always carry a ‘Steroid
treatment’ card which gives clear guidance on the special care to be
taken when you are taking this medicine. Show this to any doctor,
dentist or person who may be giving you treatment. Even after your

treatment has finished you must tell anyone who is giving you
treatment that you have taken steroids in the past.
This medicine can cause children to grow more slowly. Because of this,
they should take the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible
time. Children who use this medicine for any length of time should be
carefully monitored by the doctor.
The common side effects of Dexamethasone may be associated with
more serious consequences in old age especially thinning of the bones
(osteoporosis), high blood pressure, low potassium levels in the blood
(hypokalaemia), diabetes, susceptibility to infection and thinning of the
skin. Extra supervision by your doctor is necessary.
DEXAMETHASONE and viral infections
While you are taking this kind of medicine, you should not come into
contact with anyone who has chickenpox, shingles or measles. This is
because you may need specialist treatment if you get these diseases.
If you think you may have had exposure to any of these diseases, you
should talk to your doctor immediately. You should also tell your doctor
if you have ever had infectious diseases such as measles or
chickenpox and if you have had any vaccinations for these conditions
in the past.
Please tell a doctor or anyone giving you treatment, such as at a
hospital, if:
• You have an accident
• You are ill
• You need any surgery. This includes any surgery you may have at
your dentist’s
• You need to have a vaccination, particularly with ‘live virus’ vaccines
such as MMR, tuberculosis, yellow fever or oral typhoid.
If any of the above applies to you, you should tell your doctor or the
person treating you even if you have stopped taking this medicine.
If you have suppression tests or tests for infection, you should tell the
person giving you the test that you are taking this medicine as it may
interfere with the results of the test.
If a child is taking this medicine, it is important that the doctor monitors
their growth and development regularly. Dexamethasone should not be
routinely given to premature babies with respiratory problems.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently
taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a
prescription. Taking some medicines together can be harmful.
In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the
following medicines:
• Medicines to treat heart and blood problems, such as warfarin, high
blood pressure medicines, a cholesterol lowering medicine called
colestyramine and water tablets (diuretics)
• Medicines to treat infections, such as amphotericin B iv injection,
rifabutin, rifampicin, a medicine for fungal infections called
ketoconazole, antibiotics including erythromycin, a medicine for
worm infections called praziquantel and a medicine for tuberculosis
called isoniazid

Dexamethasone 2mg/5ml Oral Solution

Strength:

2mg/5ml Oral Solution

PIL - NON PRINT version

P0000

19.05.2011

Pack size: 150ml pack

PIL Code

Date started

Finished size: 4pp - 210mm high x 175mm wide (folded)
210mm high x 350mm wide (flat)

175mm wide

210mm
high

• Medicines to treat epilepsy, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine,
primidone, phenobarbital and acetazolamide, also used for
glaucoma
• Medicines to treat stomach problems, such as antacids, charcoal
and carbenoxolone. You should leave at least two hours between
taking these medicines and Dexamethasone
• Medicines that calm emotions or for sleeping, such as barbiturates or
sulpiride
• Medicines that control pain or lower inflammation, such as aspirin or
similar non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as
indometacin, hydrocortisone, cortisone and other corticosteroids. You
should be carefully monitored if you are taking NSAIDs at the same
time as taking Dexamethasone because you are more likely to get
stomach or gut ulcers
• Medicines used to treat diabetes such as insulin, metformin or
sulfonylureas such as chlorpropamide
• Medicines that help muscle movement in myasthenia gravis, such as
neostigmine
• Ritonavir, used to treat HIV
• Oestrogen tablets including the contraceptive pill
• Ciclosporin used to stop the rejection of organs after transplants
• Anti-cancer treatments, such as aminoglutethimide and thalidomide,
also used for leprosy
• Ephedrine which helps to tighten blood vessels
• Tetracosactide
• Methotrexate
• Medicines to treat viral infections such as indinavir and saquinavir
• Live vaccines such as MMR, tuberculosis, yellow fever or oral
typhoid
If you are unsure of the types of medicines you are taking, ask your
doctor or pharmacist.
Pregnancy and breast feeding
Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant,
planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Driving and using machines
You may experience dizziness when taking this medicine (see section
4: possible side effects). This may affect your ability to drive. If this
happens, do not drive or use tools or machinery.
Important information about some of the ingredients of
DEXAMETHASONE
This medicine contains liquid maltitol (E965) and sorbitol (E420). If you
have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some
sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
3. How to take DEXAMETHASONE
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has
told you. You should check with them if you are not sure.
Taking this medicine
• This medicine contains 2mg of dexamethasone in each 5ml
• Take this medicine by mouth. Some people may be given a
dexamethasone injection at the same time
• You may also find that your doctor will tell you to lower the amount of
salt in your diet
• You may also need to take potassium supplements whilst taking this

medicine. Your prescriber will advise you if this is necessary since
patients should not routinely be taking potassium without medical
supervision
• If your daily dose is very small, ask your pharmacist for a device to
help you measure these amounts, such as an oral syringe.
The usual dose is:
Adults and older people:
• Take 0.5mg to 9mg each day as a single dose preferably in the
morning
• If you are going to take the medicine for a long time
your doctor will give you a ‘maintenance dose’ of 1.5mg each day
Children:
• A single dose on alternate days (every other day).
Croup in babies and children:
• Your doctor will work out the right dose in millilitres (mls) based on
your child’s weight. This is normally taken once, however sometimes
your doctor will recommend that a second dose is also taken after 12
hours. Make sure you follow the doctor’s instructions.
If you are taking this medicine as part of hospital tests:
• Take 500 micrograms to 2 mg per dose dose
• You will have this medicine for a short period of time.
If you take more DEXAMETHASONE than you should:
Do not take more Dexamethasone than stated on the label of your
medicine. If you take too much medicine you should seek medical
attention immediately, either by calling your doctor, or going to the
nearest casualty department. Always take the labelled medicine
container with you, even if there is no medicine left.
If you forget to take DEXAMETHASONE:
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it
is almost time for the next one then carry on as before. Never take two
doses together.
If you stop taking DEXAMETHASONE:
• It can be dangerous to stop taking this medicine suddenly. If you
need to stop this treatment, follow your doctor’s advice. He or she
may tell you to lower the amount of medicine you are taking
gradually until you stop taking it altogether.
• If you stop taking this medicine too quickly, you may have low blood
pressure and, in some cases, your illness could come back.
• You may also feel a ‘withdrawal symptom’. This may include fever,
pain in your muscles and joints, swelling in the inside of your nose,
weight loss, itchy skin and conjunctivitis.
Effects when treatment with DEXAMETHASONE is stopped:
After therapy with Dexamethasone for a longer period, the dose should
be gradually decreased in order to prevent a relapse of your disease
and to allow your adrenal gland to recover its normal function. The
doctor will give you advice on how to do this.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your
doctor or pharmacist.

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4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Dexamethasone can have side effects, although not
everybody gets them.
Serious side effects: tell a doctor straight away
Steroids including dexamethasone can cause serious mental health
problems. These are common in both adults and children. They can
affect about 5 in every 100 people taking medicines like dexamethasone. These include:
• Feeling depressed, including thinking about suicide
• Feeling high (mania), very happy (euphoria) or moods that go up
and down
• Feeling anxious or irritable, having problems sleeping, difficulty in
thinking or being confused and losing your memory
• Feeling, seeing or hearing things that do not exist or believing in
things that are not real (delusions). Having strange and frightening
thoughts, changing how you act or having feelings of being alone
• Schizophrenia becoming worse.
If you notice any of these problems, talk to a doctor straight away.
If you have an allergic reaction to Dexamethasone stop taking and
seek medical help immediately.
An allergic reaction may include:
• Any kind of skin rash, flaking skin, boils or sore lips and mouth
• Sudden wheezing, fluttering or tightness of the chest or collapse.
If you get any of the following side effects, stop taking
Dexamethasone and see your doctor as soon as possible:
• Stomach and gut problems: inflamed food pipe (oesophagus), ulcers
in the food pipe or gut that may split and bleed, feeling sick (nausea) or
being sick (vomiting), stomach ache or a swollen stomach, having
more of an appetite than usual, hiccups, diarrhoea, tearing of the
bowel, particularly if you have inflammatory bowel disease
• Inflamed pancreas: this may cause severe pain in the back or
tummy
• Problems with salts in your blood: such as too much sodium or low
potassium or calcium. You may have water retention
• Heart and blood problems: heart failure in people who are likely to
have heart problems, high blood pressure, blood clots (signs of this
may include redness, pain or numbness, throbbing, a burning feeling
or swelling). There could also be a large rise in the number of white
cells in your body. Some types of blood tests will show this affecting you
• Bone problems: thinning of the bones with more of a risk of
fractures, also hip, arm and leg bone problems, ruptured tendons,
muscle wasting and muscle weakness
• Recurring infections: that get worse each time. This may be a sign
that your immune system is low. Recurrence of TB (tuberculosis) if
you have already had it before. You may also get thrush
• Skin problems: wounds that heal more slowly, thinned, delicate skin
unusual purple spots on the skin or bruising, redness and inflammation of the skin, weaker reaction to skin tests, stretch marks, acne,
sweating more than usual, skin rash or swollen small veins under the
skin, thinning of hair
• Eye problems: cataracts, increased pressure in the eye including
glaucoma swelling inside the eye, blurred vision, thinning of the
covering of the eyeball, eye infections that you may already have can
become worse, bulging of the eyeballs
• Hormone problems: growth of extra body hair (particularly in
women), weight gain, irregular or missing periods, changes in the
levels of protein and calcium in your body (which would be detected

by a blood test), stunted growth in children and teenagers and
swelling and weight gain of the body and face (called 'Cushingoid
state') Dexamethasone may affect your diabetes and you may notice
you start needing higher doses of the medicine you take for diabetes.
While taking dexamethasone your body may not be able to respond
normally to severe stress such as accidents, surgery or illness
• Nervous system problems: fits or epilepsy may become worse,
feeling dizzy, headache, severe unusual headache with visual
problems usually in children (normally after treatment has been
stopped), a feeling that you are addicted to the medicine, being
unable to sleep, feeling depressed, extreme mood swings
• Other side effects: may make you feel generally unwell. If you are a
man, this medicine can affect the amount of sperm and their movement.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes
any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side
effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme (Website:
www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard). By reporting side effects you can help provide
more information on the safety of this medicine.
5. Storing DEXAMETHASONE
Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
The label on the bottle shows an expiry date (month & year). Do not
use this product after this date. The expiry date refers to the last day of
that month.
Use within 3 months of opening.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household
waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer
required. These measures will help to protect the environment.
6. Further information
What DEXAMETHASONE contains:
Each 5 ml of Dexamethasone Oral Solution contains 2 mg of the active
substance dexamethasone as dexamethasone sodium phosphate.
The medicine also contains benzoic acid (E210), propylene glycol
(E1520), citric acid monohydrate (E330), liquid maltitol (E965), garden
mint flavour (containing isopropanol and propylene glycol), liquid sorbitol
(non-crystallising) (E420), sodium citrate (E331) and purified water.
What DEXAMETHASONE looks like and contents of the pack:
Dexamethasone Oral Solution is a clear, colourless solution with an
odour of mint.
Dexamethasone Oral Solution is available in a 150 ml pack.
Marketing authorisation holder: Auden Mckenzie (Pharma Division) Ltd.
Mckenzie House, Bury Street, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 7TL UK
Manufacturer: Thorpe Laboratories Ltd. Golf Road Industrial Estate,
Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, LN12 1NB, UK
This leaflet was last revised in March 2014.

For information in large
print, on tape, on CD or in Braille,
phone +44 (0)1895 627 420.

Auden Mckenzie
P0000-00-00/1

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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