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Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Solution for injection

What is this medicine?

DEXAMETHASONE (dex a METH a sone) is a corticosteroid. It is used to treat inflammation of the skin, joints, lungs, and other organs. Common conditions treated include asthma, allergies, and arthritis. It is also used for other conditions, like blood disorders and diseases of the adrenal glands.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a muscle, joint, lesion, soft tissue, or vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • black or tarry stools

  • change in the amount of urine

  • changes in vision

  • confusion, excitement, restlessness, a false sense of well-being

  • fever, sore throat, sneezing, cough, or other signs of infection, wounds that will not heal

  • hallucinations

  • increased thirst

  • mental depression, mood swings, mistaken feelings of self importance or of being mistreated

  • pain in hips, back, ribs, arms, shoulders, or legs

  • pain, redness, or irritation at the injection site

  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth

  • rounding out of face

  • swelling of feet or lower legs

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • unusual tired or weak

  • wounds that do not heal

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea or constipation

  • change in taste

  • headache

  • nausea, vomiting

  • skin problems, acne, thin and shiny skin

  • touble sleeping

  • unusual growth of hair on the face or body

  • weight gain

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • mifepristone, RU-486

  • vaccines

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • amphotericin B

  • antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, and troleandomycin

  • aspirin and aspirin-like drugs

  • barbiturates like phenobarbital

  • carbamazepine

  • cholestyramine

  • cholinesterase inhibitors like donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, and tacrine

  • cyclosporine

  • digoxin

  • diuretics

  • ephedrine

  • female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills

  • indinavir

  • isoniazid

  • ketoconazole

  • medicines for diabetes

  • medicines that improve muscle tone or strength for conditions like myasthenia gravis

  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen

  • phenytoin

  • rifampin

  • thalidomide

  • warfarin

What if I miss a dose?

This may not apply. If you are having a series of injections over a prolonged period, try not to miss an appointment. Call your doctor or health care professional to reschedule if you are unable to keep an appointment.

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • blood clotting problems

  • Cushing's syndrome

  • diabetes

  • glaucoma

  • heart problems or disease

  • high blood pressure

  • infection like herpes, measles, tuberculosis, or chickenpox

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • mental problems

  • myasthenia gravis

  • osteoporosis

  • previous heart attack

  • seizures

  • stomach, ulcer or intestine disease including colitis and diverticulitis

  • thyroid problem

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to dexamethasone, corticosteroids, other medicines, lactose, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

If you are taking this medicine for a long time, carry an identification card with your name and address, the type and dose of your medicine, and your doctor's name and address.

This medicine may increase your risk of getting an infection. Stay away from people who are sick. Tell your doctor or health care professional if you are around anyone with measles or chickenpox. Talk to your health care provider before you get any vaccines that you take this medicine.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have taken this medicine within the last twelve months.

Ask your doctor or health care professional about your diet. You may need to lower the amount of salt you eat.

The medicine can increase your blood sugar. If you are a diabetic check with your doctor if you need help adjusting the dose of your diabetic medicine.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 4/9/2009
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.