Dexamethasone is used to relieve inflammation or suppress or reduce the strength of the body’s immune system. It is used to treat a wide variety of diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation of joints), lupus (autoimmune disease that causes inflammation), and inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g. ulcerative colitis, enteritis).
Take Dexamethasone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take this medicine together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Dexamethasone is available as a tablet or oral liquid.
This medicine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking Dexamethasone even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have an infection that is affecting the whole body as Dexamethasone may not be suitable for you.
DO NOT take this medicine with medicines used to prevent virus infection, such as live virus vaccines.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart problems
- high blood pressure
- eye diseases such as glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) and cataracts (clouding of the lens in the eye)
- thyroid disorder
- stomach problems
- epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Dexamethasone to a child or elderly person. Children and elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Your doctor may need to check the height of your children regularly.
Avoid exposure to anyone who is infected with chicken pox or measles. If you are expose to these infections, contact your doctor immediately.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery or dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Dexamethasone.
This medicine may cause any of the following side effects: headache, stomach ache, weight gain or obesity, delayed wound healing, muscle weakness or pain.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- hallucination (seeing, hearing or feeling things that are not existent)
- swelling of the mouth, lips or face
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for pain and inflammation called NSAIDs e.g. ibuprofen, mefenamic acid
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, lopinavir, saquinavir, indinavir
- medicines to treat TB (lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. aspirin, warfarin
- medicine for diabetes e.g. insulin
- water pills e.g. spironolactone
- medicines for seizure (fits) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine
- erythromycin (antibiotic)
- aminoglutethimide (medicine for cancer)
- ephedrine (medicine for colds or congested nose)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Dexamethasone.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.