Dexamethasone

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Precautions

Before taking dexamethasone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: infections (e.g., tuberculosis, herpes, fungal infections), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood conditions (e.g., psychosis, anxiety, depression), low blood minerals (e.g., low potassium/calcium), thyroid disease, stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., ulcer, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, unexplained diarrhea), high blood pressure, heart problems (e.g., congestive heart failure, recent heart attack), diabetes, eye diseases (e.g., cataracts, glaucoma, herpes infection of the eye), brittle bones (osteoporosis), history of blood clots.

This medication may mask signs of infection or put you at greater risk of developing very serious infections. Report any injuries or signs of infection (e.g., persistent sore throat/fever/cough, pain during urination, muscle aches) that occur during treatment.

Using corticosteroid medications for a long time can make it more difficult for your body to respond to physical stress. Therefore, before having surgery or emergency treatment, or if you get a serious illness/injury, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication or have used this medication within the past 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you develop unusual/extreme tiredness or weight loss. If you will be using this medication for a long time, carry a warning card or medical ID bracelet that identifies your use of this medication.

Do not have immunizations, vaccinations, or skin tests unless specifically directed by your doctor. Live vaccines may cause serious complications (e.g., infection) if given while you are taking this medication. Avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

Avoid contact with people who have chickenpox or measles unless you have previously had these diseases (e.g., in childhood). If you are exposed to one of these infections and you have not previously had it, seek immediate medical attention.

If you have a history of ulcers or take large doses of aspirin or other arthritis medication, limit alcoholic beverages while taking this medication to decrease the risk of stomach/intestinal bleeding. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

If you have diabetes, this drug may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly and inform your doctor of the results. Your medicine, exercise plan, or diet may need to be adjusted.

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

This medication may slow down a child's growth if used for a long time. Consult the doctor or pharmacist for more details. See the doctor regularly so your child's height and growth can be checked.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have been using this medication for an extended time and/or at high doses may have low levels of corticosteroid hormone. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms such as persistent nausea/vomiting, severe diarrhea, or weakness in your newborn.

This drug may pass into breast milk and could have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast- feeding.

Side Effects

Stomach upset, headache, dizziness, menstrual changes, trouble sleeping, increased appetite, or weight gain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), bone/joint pain, increased thirst/urination, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, eye pain/pressure, vision problems, heartburn, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, puffy face, swelling of the ankles/feet, stomach/abdominal pain, pain/redness/swelling of arms/legs, tiredness, mental/mood changes (e.g., depression, mood swings, agitation), unusual hair/skin growth, muscle pain/cramps, weakness, easy bruising/bleeding, slow wound healing, thinning skin, seizures.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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RxAnswers™ is a copyrighted combined product from Healthnotes and First DataBank, Inc.

Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

This information is intended only for residents of the United States. Products sold under the same brand names in other countries may contain different ingredients.

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Information expires December 2019.

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