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  Information on Tablets A-Z


Decadron Tablets

Pronounced: DECK-uh-drohn
Generic name: Dexamethasone

Why is this drug prescribed: Decadron, a corticosteroid drug, is used to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms in a variety of disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and severe cases of asthma. It may be given to people to treat primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency (lack of sufficient adrenal hormone). It is also given to help treat the following disorders: Severe allergic conditions such as drug-induced allergies Blood disorders such as various anemias Certain cancers (along with other drugs) Skin diseases such as severe psoriasis Collagen (connective tissue) diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus Digestive tract disease such as ulcerative colitis High serum levels of calcium associated with cancer Fluid retention due to nephrotic syndrome (a condition in which damage to the kidneys causes the body to lose protein in the urine) Eye diseases such as allergic conjunctivitis Lung diseases such as tuberculosis (along with other drugs)

Most important fact about this drug: Decadron lowers your resistance to infections and can make them harder to treat. Decadron may also mask some of the signs of an infection, making it difficult for your doctor to diagnose the actual problem.

How should you take this medication: Decadron should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you are taking large doses, your doctor may advise you to take Decadron with meals and to take antacids between meals, to prevent a peptic ulcer from developing. Check with your doctor before stopping Decadron abruptly. If you have been taking the drug for a long time, you may need to reduce your dose gradually over a period of days or weeks. The lowest possible dose should always be used, and as symptoms subside, dosage should be reduced gradually. --If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose. --Storage instructions... There are no special storage requirements.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Decadron. Side effects may include: Abdominal distention, allergic reactions, blood clots, bone fractures and degeneration, bruises, cataracts, congestive heart failure, convulsions, "cushingoid" symptoms (moon face, weight gain, high blood pressure, emotional disturbances, growth of facial hair in women), excessive hairiness, fluid and salt retention, general feeling of illness, glaucoma, headache, hiccups, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, hives, increased appetite, increased eye pressure, increased pressure in head, increased sweating, increases in amounts of insulin or hypoglycemic medications needed in diabetes, inflammation of the esophagus, inflammation of the pancreas, irregular menstruation, loss of muscle mass, low potassium levels in blood (leading to symptoms such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, weak or irregular heartbeat, and muscle pain or cramps), muscle weakness, nausea, osteoporosis, peptic ulcer, perforated small and large bowel, poor healing of wounds, protruding eyeballs, suppression of growth in children, thin skin, tiny red or purplish spots on the skin, torn tendons, vertigo, weight gain

Why should this drug not be prescribed: Decadron should not be used if you have a fungal infection, or if you are sensitive or allergic to any of its ingredients.

Special warnings about this medication: Decadron can alter the way your body responds to unusual stress. If you are injured, need surgery, or develop an acute illness, inform your doctor. Your dosage may need to be increased. Corticosteroids such as Decadron can lower your resistance to infection. Diseases such as measles and chickenpox can be serious and even fatal in adults. Likewise, a simple case of threadworm can run rampant, producing life-threatening complications. If you are taking Decadron and are exposed to chickenpox or measles--or suspect a case of threadworm--notify your doctor immediately. Symptoms of threadworm include stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Do not get a smallpox vaccination or any other immunizations while taking Decadron, especially in high doses. The vaccination might not take, and could do harm to the nervous system. Decadron may reactivate a dormant case of tuberculosis. If you have inactive tuberculosis and must take Decadron for an extended period, your doctor will prescribe anti-TB medication as well. When you stop taking Decadron after long-term therapy, you may develop withdrawal symptoms such as fever, muscle or joint pain, and a feeling of illness. Long-term use of Decadron may cause cataracts, glaucoma, and eye infections. If you have any of the following conditions, make sure your doctor knows about it: Allergy to any cortisone-like drug Cirrhosis Diabetes Diverticulitis Eye infection (herpes simplex) Glaucoma High blood pressure Impaired thyroid function Kidney disease Myasthenia gravis (a muscle disorder) Osteoporosis (brittle bones) Peptic ulcer Recent heart attack Tuberculosis Ulcerative colitis Steroids may alter male fertility. This medication can aggravate existing emotional problems or cause emotional disturbances. Symptoms range from an exaggerated sense of well-being and difficulty sleeping to mood swings and psychotic episodes. If you experience any changes in mood, contact your doctor. If you have recently been to the tropics or are suffering from diarrhea with no apparent cause, inform your doctor before taking Decadron.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Decadron is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Decadron with the following: Aspirin Blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin Carbamazepine (Tegretol) Ephedrine (a decongestant in drugs such as Rynatuss) Erythromycin (E.E.S., Ery-Tab, PCE) Indomethacin (Indocin) Ketoconazole (Nizoral) Phenobarbital Phenytoin (Dilantin) Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) Thalidomide (Thalomid) Water pills that pull potassium out of the system, such as HydroDIURIL

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Decadron during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Infants born to mothers who have taken substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully watched for adrenal problems. Corticosteroids appear in breast milk and can suppress growth in infants. If Decadron is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment with Decadron is finished.

Recommended dosage: Your doctor will tailor your individual dose to the condition being treated. Initial doses range from 0.75 milligram to 9 milligrams a day. After the drug produces a satisfactory response, your doctor will gradually lower the dose to the minimum effective level.

Overdosage: Reports of overdose with this medication are rare. However, if you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately

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Only your healthcare provider should diagnose your healthcare problems and prescribe treatment.