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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Cortastat, Cortastat 10, Cortastat LA, De-Sone LA, Dexacen-4, Dexasone, Dexasone LA, Solurex, Solurex LA

Generic Name: dexamethasone (injection) (Pronunciation: DEX a METH a sone)

What is dexamethasone (Cortastat, Cortastat 10, Cortastat LA, De-Sone LA, Dexacen-4, Dexasone, Dexasone LA, Solurex, Solurex LA)?

Dexamethasone is in a class of drugs called steroids. Dexamethasone prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Dexamethasone is used to treat many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, breathing disorders, inflammatory eye conditions, blood cell disorders, leukemia, or endocrine disorders.

Dexamethasone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of dexamethasone?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • problems with your vision;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
  • severe depression, unusual thoughts or behavior, seizure (convulsions);
  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood;
  • pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate);
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • sleep problems (insomnia), mood changes;
  • acne, dry skin, thinning skin, bruising or discoloration;
  • slow wound healing;
  • increased sweating;
  • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • nausea, stomach pain, bloating; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about dexamethasone?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to dexamethasone or sulfites, or if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.

Before using dexamethasone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, and about all other medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.

Your steroid medication needs may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you during treatment.

Avoid activities that place too much stress on your joints. Dexamethasone can decrease pain and swelling, and you may be tempted to increase your activity if you are feeling better. Any joint damage may go unnoticed while you are being treated with dexamethasone.

Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with dexamethasone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are using a steroid. Ask your doctor when you can safely receive a live vaccine after your dexamethasone treatment ends.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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