Compare dexamethasone vs. fludrocortisone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Decadron
(dexamethasone)

fludrocortisone

Calms down your immune system. Decadron (dexamethasone) is a long-acting oral corticosteroid that is very effective in treating allergic reactions and immune conditions, however, if you're taking Decadron (dexamethasone) for a long time, there can be serious side effects.Treats electrolyte imbalance. Fludrocortisone is one of the first choices used in Addison's disease to help maintain your electrolytes, but there are side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
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Have you used Fludrocortisone?
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Side effects
dexamethasonefludrocortisone

The dexamethasone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about dexamethasone side effects »

The fludrocortisone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about fludrocortisone side effects »
How it works
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
Decadron (dexamethasone) is a corticosteroid that is similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.Fludrocortisone is a corticosteroid that is similar to what your body naturally makes. It is primarily used to maintain the sodium, potassium, and water balance in your body.
Type of medication
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Allergies
  • Addisons Disease
Risk factors for serious side effects
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Taking other immunosuppressants
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
Detailed Decadron (dexamethasone) risks & warnings »
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Taking other immunosuppressants
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
Detailed Fludrocortisone risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Price
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
No price related info.
Interactions
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
No interactions related info.
  • Fludrocortisone can interact with other drugs and vaccines.
Food
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause high blood pressure, increased salt retention and increased processing of electrolytes by your kidneys. If you have heart failure, high blood pressure, or kidney damage, talk to your doctor.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Taking Decadron (dexamethasone) increases the risk of injury to the lining of your stomach and intestine including irritation and tears. You should avoid alcohol/alcoholic beverages because it can worsen stomach irritation. Tell your doctor and get medical care right away if you have stomach pain or bloody/dark stools when you go to the bathroom.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
  • Taking Fludrocortisone increases the risk of injury to the lining of your stomach and intestine including irritation and tears. You should avoid alcohol/alcoholic beverages because it can worsen stomach irritation. Tell your doctor and get medical care right away if you have stomach pain or bloody/dark stools when you go to the bathroom.
Upsides and benefits
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Effective in treating many conditions.
  • Can improve energy and appetite.
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • Has long-term benefit in calming down the immune system and keeping it from causing your body harm, such as in autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in generic form.
  • Fludrocortisone is effective in correcting electrolyte imbalances associated with Addison's disease.
  • Generic is available.
  • Only need to take it once daily.
Downsides and risks
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • Many side effects, particularly with long term use.
  • Side effects include mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure and blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If you've been using corticosteroids for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Limited studies conducted with use of steroids during pregnancy or breastfeeding - potential harm to unborn baby.
  • Fludrocortisone can cause reactivation of old infections such as Hepatits B, C, or tuberculosis.
  • Fludrocortisone can make it easier for you to get sick.
  • Fludrocortisone can interact with other drugs and vaccines.
  • While on Fludrocortisone, you may need to have blood tests done for monitoring.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
dexamethasonefludrocortisone
  • The dose and how long you need to take the medicine for depends on your specific condition and response.
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause an increase in appetite and water retention, as well as changes in mood.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase blood pressure and blood sugar with higher doses. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, it is important that you check your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly while taking this medicine.
  • If you need to take Decadron (dexamethasone) for longer than 2 weeks, you may need to gradually stop taking this medication. Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed and do not stop suddenly.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
  • Take Fludrocortisone in the morning if you're taking it once a day, with or without food.
  • If you're on Fludrocortisone for a long period of time, watch out for any symptoms of illness, and let your doctor know right away.
  • Let your doctor know you're on this medicine before you receive any vaccines.
  • Fludrocortisone can re-activate any old infections you may have. Let your doctor know if you have or had hepatitis B, C, or tuberculosis.
Learn more
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about fludrocortisoneSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Fludrocortisone?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it