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Deflazacort Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Mar 29, 2024.

Applies to deflazacort: oral suspension, oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Deflazacort

Along with its needed effects, deflazacort may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking deflazacort:

More common

Less common


Incidence not known

Other side effects of Deflazacort

Some side effects of deflazacort may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to deflazacort: oral suspension, oral tablet.


When used for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD): The most common adverse reactions were Cushingoid appearance, hirsutism, weight increased, central obesity, increased appetite, upper respiratory tract infection, cough, pollakiuria, and nasopharyngitis.

The adverse reactions listed under "Postmarketing reports" have been reported during post-approval use of this drug worldwide or during post-approval use of other corticosteroids.

When used for conditions needing treatment with glucocorticoids (Other Conditions): The incidence of predictable side effects (including hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal [HPA] suppression) correlated with the relative potency of the drug, dosage, administration timing, and duration of therapy.[Ref]



-Common (1% to 10%): Irregular heart rate, hot flush

-Postmarketing reports: Heart failure, thromboembolism (particularly in patients with underlying conditions associated with increased thrombotic tendency)

Other Conditions:

-Frequency not reported: Heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (in preterm infants), thromboembolism (particularly in patients with underlying conditions associated with increased thrombotic tendency)[Ref]



-Very common (10% or more): Hirsutism (up to 35%), erythema (up to 28%)

-Common (1% to 10%): Rash, contusion, skin striae, acne, impetigo, alopecia, dermatitis acneiform

-Postmarketing reports: Toxic epidermal necrolysis

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hirsutism, striae, acne

-Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Bruising

-Frequency not reported: Skin atrophy, telangiectasia[Ref]



-Very common (10% or more): Cushingoid appearance (up to 60%)

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Suppression of the HPA axis, Cushingoid facies

-Frequency not reported: Steroid withdrawal syndrome (includes symptoms such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, headache, fever, joint pain, desquamation, myalgia, weight loss)[Ref]



-Very common (10% or more): Abdominal pain/upper abdominal pain (up to 18% combined)

-Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, abdominal discomfort, nausea, dyspepsia, gastrointestinal disorder, tooth abscess

-Postmarketing reports: Acute pancreatitis, hemorrhage, peptic ulceration, perforation of peptic ulcer

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspepsia, peptic ulceration, hemorrhage, nausea

-Frequency not reported: Perforation of peptic ulcer, acute pancreatitis[Ref]



-Very common (10% or more): Pollakiuria (up to 15%)

-Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection, glycose urine present, chromaturia, dysuria, hypertonic bladder, testicular pain

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Amenorrhea

-Frequency not reported: Menstrual irregularity[Ref]



-Postmarketing reports: Leukocytosis

Other Conditions:

-Frequency not reported: Leukocytosis[Ref]



-Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Anaphylaxis

-Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity (including anaphylaxis)

Other Conditions:

-Frequency not reported: Hypersensitivity (including anaphylaxis)[Ref]



-Very common (10% or more): Central obesity (up to 25%), increased appetite (up to 14%)

-Postmarketing reports: Negative protein and calcium balance, potassium loss and hypokalemic alkalosis (with concomitant beta 2-agonist and xanthines), impaired carbohydrate tolerance with increased requirement for antidiabetic therapy

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sodium and water retention (with hypertension), impaired carbohydrate tolerance with increased requirement for antidiabetic therapy, potassium loss and hypokalemic alkalosis (with concomitant beta 2-agonist and xanthines)

-Frequency not reported: Negative protein and calcium balance, increased appetite, tumor lysis syndrome (in patients with hematological malignancies)[Ref]



-Common (1% to 10%): Back pain, fibula fracture, greenstick fracture, muscle spasms, myalgia, neck mass, neck pain, extremity pain

-Frequency not reported: Muscle weakness, tendon disorder, osteopenia

-Postmarketing reports: Avascular osteonecrosis, muscle wasting, negative nitrogen balance, tendonitis/tendon rupture (with concomitant quinolones), vertebral/long bone fractures

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Osteoporosis, vertebral/long bone fractures

-Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Muscle wasting

-Frequency not reported: Growth suppression in pediatric patients, avascular osteonecrosis, tendonitis/tendon rupture (with concomitant quinolones), myopathy, negative nitrogen balance[Ref]

Nervous system


-Common (1% to 10%): Psychomotor hyperactivity, dizziness

-Frequency not reported: Headache

-Postmarketing reports: Aggravation of epilepsy, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema in children (pseudotumor cerebri; usually after treatment withdrawal), cognitive dysfunction (including confusion, amnesia), benign intracranial hypertension, vertigo

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Headache, vertigo

-Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Benign intracranial hypertension

-Frequency not reported: Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema in children (pseudotumor cerebri; usually after treatment withdrawal), aggravation of epilepsy, cognitive dysfunction (including confusion, amnesia)[Ref]



-Common (1% to 10%): Lacrimation increased, hordeolum

-Postmarketing reports: Chorioretinopathy, corneal/scleral thinning

Other Conditions:

-Frequency not reported: Vision blurred, increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, papilledema, posterior subcapsular cataracts, chorioretinopathy, corneal/scleral thinning, exacerbation of ophthalmic viral/fungal diseases[Ref]


Other Systemic Corticosteroids:

-Frequency not reported: Kaposi's sarcoma, pheochromocytoma crisis[Ref]



-Very common (10% or more): Increased weight (up to 28%)

-Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia, thirst, otitis externa, viral infection, back injury, face injury, heat exhaustion

-Postmarketing reports: Impaired healing, edema

Other Conditions:

-Common (1% to 10%): Weight gain

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased susceptibility and severity of infections with suppression of clinical symptoms/signs, opportunistic infections, recurrence of dormant tuberculosis, edema

-Frequency not reported: Candidiasis, impaired healing[Ref]



-Common (1% to 10%): Irritability, abnormal behavior, affect lability, aggression, depression, emotional disorder, middle insomnia, mood altered, mood swings, sleep disorder

-Postmarketing reports: Anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, mania, suicidal thoughts

Other Conditions:

-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Depressed and labile mood, behavioral disturbances

-Frequency not reported: Restlessness, irritable, euphoric, suicidal thoughts, psychotic reactions (including mania, delusions, hallucinations, aggravation of schizophrenia), anxiety, sleep disturbances, psychological effects (upon corticosteroid withdrawal)[Ref]



-Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (up to 12%), cough (up to 12%)

-Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis, rhinorrhea, epistaxis, influenza, pharyngitis, hypoventilation[Ref]


1. Product Information. Calcort (deflazacort). Neon Healthcare Ltd. 2022.

2. Product Information. Emflaza (deflazacort). PTC Therapeutics, Inc. 2021;SUPPL-5.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.