Dexamethasone injection is used to treat severe allergic reactions. It is used in the management of certain types of edema (fluid retention and swelling; excess fluid held in body tissues,) gastrointestinal disease, and certain types of arthritis. Dexamethasone injection is also used for diagnostic testing. Dexamethasone injection is also used to treat certain conditions that affect the blood, skin, eyes, thyroid, kidneys, lungs, and nervous system. It is sometimes used in combination with other medications to treat symptoms of low corticosteroid levels (lack of certain substances that are usually produced by the body and are needed for normal body functioning) and in the management of certain types of shock. Dexamethasone injection is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works to treat people with low levels of corticosteroids by replacing steroids that are normally produced naturally by the body. It also works to treat other conditions by reducing swelling and redness and by changing the way the immune system works.
Dexamethasone injection comes as powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intramuscularly (into a muscle) or intravenously (into a vein). Your personal dosing schedule will depend on your condition and on how you respond to treatment.
You may receive dexamethasone injection in a hospital or medical facility, or you may be given the medication to use at home. If you will be using dexamethasone injection at home, your healthcare provider will show you how to inject the medication. Be sure that you understand these directions, and ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions. Ask your healthcare provider what to do if you have any problems using dexamethasone injection.
Your doctor may change your dose of dexamethasone injection during your treatment to be sure that you are always using the lowest dose that works for you. Your doctor may also need to change your dose if you experience unusual stress on your body such as surgery, illness, or infection. Tell your doctor if your symptoms improve or get worse or if you get sick or have any changes in your health during your treatment.
Dexamethasone injection is also sometimes used to treat nausea and vomiting from certain types of chemotherapy for cancer and to prevent organ transplant rejection. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before receiving dexamethasone injection,
Your doctor may instruct you to follow a low-salt or a diet high in potassium or calcium. Your doctor may also prescribe or recommend a calcium or potassium supplement. Follow these directions carefully.
Dexamethasone injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
Dexamethasone injection may cause children to grow more slowly. Your child's doctor will watch your child's growth carefully while your child is using dexamethasone injection. Talk to your child's doctor about the risks of giving this medication to your child.
People who use dexamethasone injection for a long time may develop glaucoma or cataracts. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using dexamethasone injection and how often you should have your eyes examined during your treatment.
Dexamethasone injection may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.
Dexamethasone injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Your healthcare provider will tell you how to store your medication. Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand how to store your medication properly.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to dexamethasone injection.
If you are having any skin tests such as allergy tests or tuberculosis tests, tell the doctor or technician that you are receiving dexamethasone injection.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are using dexamethasone injection.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: May 15, 2016.