DEXSOL 2MG/5ML ORAL SOLUTION
Active substance(s): DEXAMETHASONE SODIUM PHOSPHATE
4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause 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:
n feeling depressed, including thinking about suicide
n feeling high (mania), very happy (euphoria) or moods that go up and down
n feeling anxious or irritable, having problems sleeping, difficulty in thinking or
being confused and losing your memory
n 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
n schizophrenia becoming worse.
If you notice any of these problems, talk to a doctor
If you have an allergic reaction to Dexsol stop taking and seek medical help immediately.
An allergic reaction may include:
n any kind of skin rash, flaking skin, boils or sore lips and mouth
n sudden wheezing, fluttering or tightness of the chest or collapse.
If you get any of the following side effects, stop taking Dexsol and see your doctor as soon as possible:
n 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
n Inflamed pancreas: this may cause severe pain in the back or tummy
n Problems with salts in your blood such as too much sodium or low potassium or calcium. You may
have water retention
n 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
n 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
n 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
n 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
n 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. Frequency rare: blurred vision. Frequency not known: visual
disturbances, loss of vision.
n 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')
Dexsol 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
n 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
n 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 (see details below). By reporting side
effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Yellow Card Scheme
Earlsfort Terrace, IRL - Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 6764971
Fax: +353 1 6762517
5. How to store Dexsol
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children
Do not use after the expiry date which is stated on the label and carton (Exp: month, year)
The expiry date refers to the last day of that month
Do not store above 25°C. Do not store in the fridge. Store in the original package in order to protect
Use within 3 months of opening
Do not use Dexsol if you notice a change in the appearance or smell of the medicine. Talk to your
Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how
to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help to protect the environment.
6. Contents of the pack and other information
What Dexsol contains
n The active substance is Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate. Each 5ml contains 2mg dexamethasone
(as dexamethasone sodium phosphate).
n The other ingredients are benzoic acid (E210), propylene glycol (E1520), citric acid monohydrate
(E330), liquid maltitol (E965), garden mint flavour (containing isopropanol and propylene glycol),
liquid sorbitol (E420), sodium citrate (E331) and purified water
What Dexsol looks like and contents of the pack
A colourless to faint yellow liquid with an odour of mint.
It comes in a brown glass bottle holding 75ml or 150ml of solution.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
Rosemont Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Yorkdale Industrial Park, Braithwaite Street, Leeds, LS11 9XE, UK.
This leaflet was last revised in October 2017
Dexsol® 2mg/5ml Oral Solution
Important information about this medicine
Dexsol 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
Dexsol 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
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 the leaflet. It includes other important information on the safe and effective use of
this medicine that might be especially important for you.
This leaflet was last updated on 04/10/2017.
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 these side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet,
please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
What is in this leaflet:
1. What Dexsol is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Dexsol
3. How to take Dexsol
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Dexsol
6. Contents of the pack and other information
1. What Dexsol is and what it is used for
The name of your medicine is Dexsol. It contains dexamethasone sodium phosphate. 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 Dexsol, is an effective way to treat various
illnesses involving inflammation in the body. Dexsol lowers inflammation, which could otherwise go on
making your condition worse. You must take this medicine regularly to get maximum benefit from it.
Dexsol can be used for:
n replacing natural corticosteroids when levels have been reduced
n reducing swelling of the brain which is not caused by a head injury
n treating swelling (inflammation) and certain allergies
n treating cancer
n controlling how well your adrenal glands work. These are glands that are next to your kidneys
n 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 a 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 Dexsol
Do not take Dexsol and tell your doctor if:
n you are allergic (hypersensitive) to dexamethasone or any other ingredients in this liquid (listed in
The signs of an allergic reaction include a rash, itching or shortness of breath
n you have an infection (including fungal infections) that affects the whole body, unless you are being
treated for the infection
n you have an ulcer in your stomach (peptic ulcer) or digestive tract area (duodenal ulcer)
n you have an infection with tropical worms.
Do not take this medicine if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before
Check with your doctor first:
n If you have ever had severe depression or manic depression (bipolar disorder). This includes having
had depression before while taking steroid medicines like dexamethasone.
n If any of your close family has had these illnesses.
If either of these applies to you, talk to a doctor before taking this medicine.
Mental problems while taking Dexsol
Mental health problems can happen while taking steroids like Dexsol (see also section 4: Possible side
n These illnesses can be serious
n Usually they start within a few days or weeks of starting the medicine
n They are more likely to happen at high doses
n 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
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Dexsol if you have:
n kidney or liver problems
n high blood pressure, heart disease or you have recently had a heart attack
n diabetes or there is a family history of diabetes
n thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), particularly if you are a female who has
been through the menopause
n had muscle weakness with this or other steroids in the past
n raised eye pressure (glaucoma) or there is a family history of glaucoma
n a condition causing muscle weakness (myasthenia
n a bowel problem or a stomach (peptic) ulcer
n mental problems or you have had a mental illness
which was made worse by this type of medicine
n had an allergy or unusual reaction to corticosteroids
n an underactive thyroid gland
n an infection with parasites
n tuberculosis, septicaemia or a fungal infection in the eye
n malaria that affects the brain (cerebral malaria)
n herpes, including cold sores or genital herpes
n you have stunted growth
n 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.
Contact your doctor if you experience blurred vision or other visual disturbances.
If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using
More important information about taking this kind of medicine
n 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.
n 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.
n If you develop an infection while you are taking this medicine, you should talk to your doctor.
n 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.
Dexsol 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:
n you have an accident
n you are ill
n you need any surgery. This includes any surgery you may have at your dentist’s
n 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.
Other medicines and Dexsol
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
This includes medicines you buy without a prescription, including herbal medicines. This is because Dexsol
can affect the way some other medicines work. Also, some medicines can affect the way Dexsol works.
Some medicines may increase the effects of Dexsol and your doctor may wish to monitor you carefully if
you are taking these medicines (including some medicines for HIV: ritonavir, cobicistat).
In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
n medicines to treat heart and blood problems, such as warfarin, high blood pressure medicines,
a cholesterol lowering medicine called colestyramine and water tablets (diuretics)
n 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
n medicines to treat epilepsy, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, primidone, phenobarbital and
acetazolamide, also used for glaucoma
n medicines to treat stomach problems, such as antacids, charcoal and carbenoxolone. You
should leave at least two hours between taking these medicines and Dexsol
n 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-
inflammatories (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 Dexsol 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
n medicines to treat viral infections such as indinavir
n live vaccines such as MMR, tuberculosis, yellow
fever or oral typhoid.
If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk
to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Dexsol.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Talk to your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are
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.
Dexsol contains sorbitol, maltitol and propylene glycol.
n Sorbitol and maltitol. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some
sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product.
n Propylene glycol. This may cause alcohol-like symptoms.
3. How to take Dexsol
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
n this medicine contains 2mg of dexamethasone in each 5ml
n take this medicine by mouth. Some people may be given a dexamethasone injection at the same time
n you may also find that your doctor will tell you to lower the amount of salt in your diet
n 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
n if your daily dose is very small, ask your pharmacist for a device to help you measure these
amounts, such as an oral syringe.
Administration using NG or PEG tubes:
n This medicine can also be administered via nasogastric (NG) or percutaneous endoscopic
gastrostomy (PEG) tubes. Ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse for further information.
n For use with silicone, PVC and polyurethane NG or PEG tubes only.
n Instructions for use via NG or PEG tube:
1. ensure the tube is clear before taking the medicine
2. flush the enteral tube with water. A minimum volume of 5 ml is required.
3. administer the medicine into the tube with a suitable measuring device, which will be provided
by your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
4. flush the tube with water again, using a minimum volume of 5 ml.
Adults and older people:
The usual dose for adults and older people is:
n take 0.5mg to 9mg each day as a single dose preferably in the morning
n 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.
The usual dose for children is:
n take 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 doctors instructions.
If you are taking this medicine as part of hospital tests:
n take 500 micrograms to 2mg for each dose
n you will have this medicine for a short period of time.
If you take more Dexsol 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.
If you forget to take Dexsol
n If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is nearly time for the next dose,
skip the missed dose
n Do not take a double dose (two doses at the same time) to make up for a forgotten dose.
If you stop taking Dexsol
n 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.
n If you stop taking this medicine too quickly, you may have low blood pressure and, in some cases,
your illness could come back.
n 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 medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.