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Lowers inflammation and suppresses your immune system.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

Decadron (Dexamethasone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.


  • Treats a large variety of inflammatory disorders including asthma, dermatitis, drug reactions, rashes, and endocrine disorders.
  • Can help prevent nausea, especially when it's caused by chemotherapy.
  • You can get it orally or as an injection.


  • Can't be used on its own to treat low cortisol levels.
  • Since it suppresses your immune system, you're more likely to get infections.
  • You can't take Decadron (Dexamethasone) if you have a systemic fungal infection.
  • Shouldn't be used if you have a stomach ulcer.
  • Can decrease bone formation and lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

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What to expect when you take Decadron (Dexamethasone)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • The lowest possible dose of corticosteroids should be used to control your symptoms.
  • When reducing or stopping the dose, do it very slowly and follow your doctor's instructions exactly to prevent major health emergencies.
  • If you used Decadron (Dexamethasone) for a long time, you could get withdrawal symptoms like muscle pain, joint pain, and malaise.
  • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
  • Don't get live or live/attenuated vaccines while on this. Killed or inactivated vaccines are fine.
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Side effects for Decadron (Dexamethasone)

Manufacturers don’t say how common these side effects are

  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Anaphylactoid or hypersensitivity reactions
  • Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
  • Body shaking
  • Bulging eyes
  • Burning or tingling in perineal area
  • Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
  • Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
  • Development of cushingoid state
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Feeling unwell
  • Glaucoma
  • Headache
  • Hiccups
  • High blood pressure
  • Holding water
  • Hypokalemic alkalosis
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Increased intraocular pressure
  • Increased requirements for insulin or oral agents
  • Increased sweating
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
  • May supress reactions to skin tests
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Muscle weakness
  • Myocardial rupture after mi
  • Nausea
  • Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pathologic fracture of long bones
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Perforation of the bowel
  • Petechiae and ecchymoses
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts
  • Potassium loss
  • Psychic disturbances
  • Redness
  • Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness
  • Sodium retention
  • Steroid myopathy
  • Suppression of growth in children
  • Swollen belly
  • Tendon rupture
  • Thin fragile skin
  • Thromboembolism
  • Ulcerative esophagitis
  • Vertebral compression fractures
  • Vertigo
  • Very low bone mineral density
  • Weight gain

Risks and Warnings for Decadron (Dexamethasone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
    • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection

    Adrenal suppression leading to adrenal crisis can occur if you lower your dose or stop taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) too quickly. Symptoms include joint or muscle pain, extreme low energy and depression. Changes in your Decadron (Dexamethasone) dose need to be done slowly over time. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes or stop the medication.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Decadron (Dexamethasone)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Like most corticosteroid medicines, Decadron (Dexamethasone) may cause changes in your mood or behavior. Tell your doctor right away if you become depressed, have mood swings, trouble sleeping, irritability or anxiety, hyperactivity, delusions or hallucinations while taking this medicine. If you need to make any changes or slowly taper your dose, talk to your doctor first.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
  • Decease you salt intake to avoid weight gain