What is Decadron? What are the indications and contraindications for its use? What should you do if a person takes it in exorbitant quantities? What are the side effects of the drug? Below you will find answers to these and other questions.
What is Decadron? Definition of the Drug and Its Class
Decadron is a hormonal drug, it is an analogue of a substance that is produced by the adrenal cortex. Its main active agent is dexamethasone, a constituent belonging to the class of corticosteroids. Dexamethasone is also the generic name of this medical remedy.
It contributes to the inhibition of the enzyme phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and suppresses inflammation-associated substances (prostaglandins,endoperoxides, leukotrienes). It also redistributes fat, contributing to the accumulation of fat in the face and abdomen. It leads to hypercholesterolemia (increased cholesterol levels). Like other corticosteroids, it enhances the absorption of carbs. Dexamethasone has an antagonistic effect on vitamin D, leading to a decrease in bone calcium content.
Decadron Uses (Indications for Use)
Dexamethasone is indicated for conditions requiring the introduction of a fast-acting glucocorticosteroid hormone. The drug is used for:
- endocrine disorders (eg, subacute thyroidal inflammation);
- cerebral oedema (with radiation injury, encephalitis, craniocerebral trauma, neurosurgical intervention, meningitis);
- rheumatic conditions;
- severe allergies;
- malignancies (leukaemia and lymphoma);
- adrenal gland testing;
- blood diseases (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, hemolytic anaemia, agranulocytosis);
- severe infections;
- arthritis, tendovaginitis, subacute bursitis, etc.;
- lupus, annular granuloma, keloids.
It can also be used for croup of any severity. According to research by J. Wells (2009), Decadron is effective for migraine.
Decadron Injection (Tablet) During Pregnancy– Myths and Facts
In some sources, you can find that Decadron injection (or tablets) can be used to prepare for pregnancy. It allegedly reduces the formation of male sex hormones in the female body, and helps to conceive a child, so Decadron can be used as part of pre-pregnancy planning as directed by a doctor.
Also, these sources refer to an elevated level of male sex hormones in a woman’s body which is termed, hyperandrogenism. This condition is linked to both infertility and difficulties in conceiving. If you constantly lower the level of male sex hormones, then the conception and retention of pregnancy are far more likely. The drug remains active after conception; it is taken through to delivery to avoid possible complications. The drug is not harmful to patients, much more harmful are the hormonal processes in the body that cause an elevated level of male sex hormones (it is a myth!). Dexamethasone tablets in pregnancy are prescribed in small amounts, so you should have no concerns about the side effects.
Some people maintain that liquid and tablet dexamethasone is used to increase the chance of conception. This medication is prescribed for women who cannot become pregnant. Dexamethasone is supposedly taken during pregnancy, because when a woman is pregnant, the drug depresses the production of male hormones in the woman’s body, allowing the foetus to thrive. However, all above-mentioned statements are untrue. According to religious sources, Decadron is not recommended for use during pregnancy, because at the moment there is insufficient data on the safety of this medication for the embryo. Moreover, it cannot contribute to improving the hormonal climate preconception since it does not belong to the group of sex hormones.
When used intra-articularly, dexamethasone is injected into the origin of inflammation at a dose of 0.2 to 6 mg (average dosage is 4 mg), repeated every 3 days or 3 weeks. Intravenous or intramuscular Decadron dosage is 0.5–10 mg/day. The maximum daily dose of dexamethasone is 80 mg. How long does it last? It has a prolonged half-life of 36 to 54 hours, this medication is especially suitable in disorders where continuous corticosteroid action is deemed appropriate.
In acute forms of the disease, the dosage of the drug during the day is anywhere from 4 to 20 mg, administered four times a day. The dosage should then be reduced. The amount of the drug is prescribed by the attending physician; self-medication is not recommended.
Decadron Shot and Pills – Cautions
Decadron shot or pills can be used with caution in the following cases:
- ulcers of the stomach or other gastrointestinal organs;
- gastritis, including those caused by Helicobacter pylori (Campylobacter pylori);
- infectious, parasitic or viral diseases;
- acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV / AIDS);
- the period after vaccination;
- disorders of the cardiovascular system and other diseases.
Drug overdose is a frequent phenomenon which constitutes an acute clinical situation. In addition, you need to understand that intoxication can occur from absolutely any drug if you exceed the dose. Symptoms of an overdose of Decadron include elevated BP, swellings, high glucose levels and impaired consciousness. Overdosage is treated symptomatically.
How to avoid overdose?
Possible side effects from the use of this medicine typically are manifested by increased body weight, elevated appetite, and mood swings. More rarely, the drug can cause severe undesirable consequences listed here (especially in the case of prolonged use):
- Metabolic disorders, like alkalosis (increase in blood pH), increased appetite, and obesity.
- Cardiovascular disorders: thrombosis arrhythmia, steroid vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels).
- Musculoskeletal disorders: osteoporosis, aseptic necrosis (decay) of the head of the humerus or femur, fractures of long bones.
- Erosion and ulcers of the stomach/intestine, nausea, bleeding, hepatomegaly, esophagitis (esophagus inflammation), and pancreatitis.
- Skin changes like acne, slow wound healing, sweating.
- Fatigue, dizziness, mental disorders, steroid-induced psychosis, headache, convulsions.
- Endocrine disorders;
- Eye disorders
- Immunity disorders.
Other Decadron side effects include infections, allergies, pigmentation or leukoderma (disappearance of pigmentation), subcutaneous fat loss, aseptic abscess (non-infectious suppuration), and redness.
The administration of the medicament may cause a reduction in the work of the immune system. Therefore, when taking the drug, protect yourself from viruses and infections by taking preventive measures. Ceasing the administration of the medicine may lead to withdrawal symptoms. The following problems can occur in persons that are withdrawing from using Decadron:
- bad appetite.
- bodyweight loss.
- other gastrointestinal problems.
Where to Buy Decadron? Brand Names of the Drug
You can buy Decadron in trusted brick-and-mortar (ordinary) pharmacies. Some people are wondering: “Where to buy online?” You can do it in many online drugstores, however, you should be very careful. Some of them offer counterfeit medicines. To avoid fake suppliers, check the appearance of the website, real physical address, toll number, and customer support. Note that Decadron is a prescription medication, that is, you are required to provide a prescription issued by a licensed doctor before buying Decadron. Its OTC use is not, therefore, a clever idea.
Dexamethasone’s brand names include: Baycadron (by Wockhardt), Dexamethasone Roxane, DexPak® 10 DayTaperpak (ECR), Ozurdex (Allergan), Zema-Pak 10 Day (Macoven Pharmaceuticals), Aeroseb-Dex (Herbert), Alin (Chinoin), tuttozem N (Strathmann), Aacidexam (Aspen), Dexsol (Rosemont), etc.