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Active substance(s): DEXAMETHASONE

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Package leaflet: Information for the user

Dexamethasone 2 mg Tablets

This product is available as the above name but will be referred as
Dexamethasone throughout the following leaflet.
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
Now read the rest of this leaflet
It includes other important information on the safe and effective use of this
medicine that might be especially important for you.
• Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again
• If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or your pharmacist
• This medicine has been prescribed only 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 gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not
listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist
In this leaflet:
1. What Dexamethasone is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Dexamethasone
3. How to take Dexamethasone
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Dexamethasone
6. Contents of the pack and other information
1. What Dexamethasone is and what it is used for
The name of your medicine is Dexamethasone. This 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.
Dexamethasone can be used to:
• Reduce inflammation
• Treat a number of different diseases of the immune system
2. What you need to know before you take Dexamethasone
Do not take Dexamethasone and tell your doctor if:
• You are allergic (hypersensitive) to dexamethasone or any other
ingredients in this medicine (listed in Section 6). The signs of an allergic
reaction include a rash, itching or shortness of breath
• You have an infection that affects the whole body
• You need to have a vaccination, particularly with ‘live virus’ vaccines
 Do not take this medicine if any of the above apply to you. Talk to your
doctor or pharmacist before taking Dexamethasone.
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 this
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
• 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.

Take special care with Dexamethasone
 Before you take Dexamethasone, tell your doctor if:
• You have a cancer of the blood because you may be at risk of a very
rare, potentially life-threatening condition resulting from a sudden
breakdown of tumour cells.
• You have symptoms of tumour lysis syndrome such as muscle cramping,
muscle weakness, confusion, visual loss or disturbances and shortness
of breath, in case you suffer from haematological malignancy
• You have kidney or liver problems
• You have high blood pressure or heart disease
• You have diabetes or there is a family history of diabetes
• You have thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), particularly if you are a
female who has been through the menopause
• You have had muscle weakness with this or other steroids in the past
• You have raised eye pressure (glaucoma) or there is a family history of
• You have a stomach (peptic) ulcer
• You have mental problems or you have had a mental illness which was
made worse by this type of medicine such as ‘steroid psychosis’
• You have epilepsy
• You have migraines
• You have an underactive thyroid gland
• You have an infection with parasites
• You have tuberculosis (TB)
• You have stunted growth
• Contact your doctor if you experience blurred vision or other visual
 If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor or
pharmacist before using Dexamethasone.
More important information about taking this kind of medicine
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 blue ‘steroid 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.
Do not use Dexamethasone for the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress
Syndrome (ARDS; a serious lung disease) if you have been diagnosed with
this condition for over 2 weeks.
Dexamethasone and viral infections
While you are taking this kind of medicine, you should not come into
contact with anyone who has chicken pox, shingles or measles if you have
not had these illnesses.
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 straight away. You should also tell your
doctor if you have ever had infectious diseases such as measles or chicken
pox 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
• You need to have a vaccination, particularly with ‘live virus’ vaccines
If any of the above apply to you, you should tell your doctor or the person
treating you even if you have stopped taking this medicine.

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 if you are taking or have recently taken any other
medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Other
medicines can affect the way Dexamethasone works or Dexamethasone
can affect the way they work. In particular:
• Medicines to treat heart and blood problems, such as warfarin, high
blood pressure medicine and water tablets (diuretics)
• Antibiotics such as rifampicin and rifabutin
• Medicines to treat epilepsy, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine,
phenobarbitone and primidone
• Medicines to treat stomach problems, such as antacids
• Carbenoxolone, sometimes used for ulcers
• Medicines that control pain or lower inflammation, such as aspirin,
ibuprofen or similar non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)
• Medicines used to treat diabetes
• Medicines used to lower potassium levels
• Medicines used to treat myasthenia

• Indinavir or saquinavir used to treat HIV
• Some medicines may increase the effects of Dexamethasone and your
doctor may wish to monitor you carefully if you are taking these
medicines (including some medicines for HIV: ritonavir, cobicistat)
• Oral contraceptives containing oestrogen and progestogen
• Anti-cancer treatments, such as aminoglutethimide
• Methotrexate used for cancer or inflammatory problems
• Ephedrine used to relieve symptoms of a blocked nose
• Acetazolamide used for glaucoma
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
Dexamethasone is not likely to affect you being able to drive or use any
tools or machines.
Important information about some of the ingredients of
This medicine contains lactose monohydrate. 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
Take this medicine as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Read the
label and ask the doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Taking this medicine
• Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take. This will depend on
your illness and how bad it is
• Take this medicine by mouth
• Swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water
• Do not crush or chew the tablets
Usual dose for adults
• The usual dose is 0.5mg to 10mg each day
• As you get better your doctor may then reduce your dose or ask you to
take another corticosteroid such as ‘prednisolone’
Usual dose for children
• The usual dose is 0.01 to 0.1 milligrams per kilogram of body weight
If you take more Dexamethasone than you should
 If you take more of this medicine than you should, talk to a doctor or go
to a hospital straight away. Take the medicine pack with you so the
doctor knows what you have taken. The following effects may happen:
• Swelling of the throat
• Skin reaction
• Difficulty breathing
If you forget to take Dexamethasone
• If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is
nearly time for the next dose, skip the missed dose
• Do not take a double dose (two doses at the same time) to make up for a
forgotten dose
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,
your condition may get worse.
You may also feel a ‘withdrawal symptom’. These may include headache,
problems with your vision (including pain or swelling in the eye), feeling or
being sick, fever, pain in your muscles and joints, swelling in the inside of
your nose, weight loss, itchy skin and conjunctivitis.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your
doctor or pharmacist.
4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Dexamethasone can cause side effects although not
everybody gets them.
Dexamethasone can also cause side effects when you stop taking it.
• See Section 3: If you stop taking Dexamethasone
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) or moods that go up and down
• Feeling anxious, having problems sleeping, difficulty in thinking or being
confused and losing your memory
• Feeling, seeing or hearing things that do not exist. Having strange and
frightening thoughts, changing how you act or having feelings of being
 If you notice any of these problems, talk to a doctor straight away.

If you have an allergic reaction to Dexamethasone see a doctor
straight away
An allergic reaction may include:
• Any kind of skin rash or itching of the skin
• Difficulty in breathing or collapse
If you get any of the following side effects see your doctor as soon as
• Stomach and gut problems: ulcers in the throat, stomach ulcers, which
may perforate or bleed, indigestion, feeling sick (nausea) or being sick
(vomiting), a swollen stomach, having more of an appetite than usual,
hiccups, diarrhoea
• 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: high blood pressure, blood clots, problems
with the muscles in your heart after a recent heart attack
• Bone problems: thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) with an increased
risk of fractures, bone disease
• Recurring infections that get worse each time such as thrush and
chicken pox
• Skin problems: wounds that heal more slowly, bruising, acne
• Eye problems: increased pressure in the eye including glaucoma, eye
disorders such as cataracts, eye infections, visual disturbances, loss of
vision, blurred vision
• Hormone problems: irregular or missing periods, stunted growth in
children and teenagers, swelling of the face (called ‘Cushingoid’ or
‘moon’ face). It may affect your diabetes and you may notice you start
needing higher doses of the medicine you take for diabetes. Your body
may not be able to respond normally to severe stress such as accidents,
surgery or illness, growth of extra body hair (particularly in women),
increased appetite or weight gain
• Nervous system problems: fits or epilepsy may become worse, severe
unusual headache with visual problems, being unable to sleep, feeling
depressed, extreme mood swings, schizophrenia may become worse,
headache or problems with your vision (including eye pain or swelling)
• General problems: may make you feel generally unwell or tired
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 at:
or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the
safety of this medicine.
5. How to store Dexamethasone
• Keep out of the sight and reach of children.
• Do not store above 25°C. Store in the original package to protect from light.
• Do not use after the expiry date which is stated on the pack. The expiry
date refers to the last day of that month.
• 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.
• If your medicine becomes discoloured, or shows any signs of
deterioration, consult your pharmacist who will tell you what to do.
6. Contents of the pack and other information
What Dexamethasone contains
• The active ingredient is Dexamethasone.
Each tablet contains 2 mg of dexamethasone.
• The other ingredients in Dexamethasone are propylene glycol, potato
starch, magnesium stearate and lactose monohydrate.
What Dexamethasone looks like and contents of the pack
• Dexamethasone are white, round and flat tablets with bevelled edges,
coded XC above 8 on one side and plain on the other side. They are
available in white, cylindrical wide mouth containers with screw caps
made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) with a child resistant
polypropylene screw cap with a tamper evident seal.
• Dexamethasone tablets are available in container of 100 tablets.
PL: 15814/1321


Dexamethasone is manufactured by Aspen Bad Oldesloe GmbH, 32-36
Industriestrasse, 23843 Bad Oldesloe, Germany.
Procured from within the EU and repackaged by the Product Licence
Holder: O.P.D. Laboratories Ltd., Unit 6 Colonial Way, Watford, Herts
WD24 4PR.
Leaflet revision and issue date (Ref.): 17.10.2017.

To request a copy of this leaflet in
Braille, large print or audio please
call 01923 332 796.

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