Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Decadron Alternatives

(Dexamethasone)

  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Allergic disorder
  • Collagen disease
  • Cushing's syndrome diagnosis
  • Diabetic macular edema
  • Endocrine disorder
  • Eye disorder
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Compare Decadron (Dexamethasone) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Decadron (Dexamethasone) or used for similar purposes.

Decadron
(Dexamethasone)

Anusol Hc
(Hydrocortisone)

Pred Forte
(Prednisolone)

Medrol
(Methylprednisolone)

Lowers inflammation and suppresses your immune system. Decadron (Dexamethasone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.Treats itchy or irritated skin. Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a good topical steroid to try for treating minor rashes or skin irritation.Treats eye redness and swelling. Pred Forte (Prednisolone) is strong medicine for eye redness and swelling without exposing the rest of your body to the steroid medicine.Calms down your immune system. Medrol (Methylprednisolone) is corticosteroid available in many forms (oral, injectable) that's great for controlling the unwanted symptoms from your immune responses and will make you feel better. There are lots of side effects but most of are tolerable or can be managed.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Medrol (Methylprednisolone)
57%
29% vs. Decadron (Dexamethasone)
51%
35% vs. Decadron (Dexamethasone)
23%
23% vs. Decadron (Dexamethasone)
Side effects
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol

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

More about dexamethasone side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Hydrocortisone side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Hydrocortisone »

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

More about Prednisolone side effects »

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

More about Medrol side effects »
How it works
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
Decadron (Dexamethasone) is a short-acting corticosteroid. It lowers inflammation by preventing your capillaries (small blood vessels) from leaking out excess fluid and chemicals that cause swelling.Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) is a topical steroid that works by decreasing skin itching, swelling, and redness.Pred Forte (Prednisolone) is a steroid that lowers your immune response to allergens and reduces eye redness and swelling.Medrol (Methylprednisolone) is a corticosteroid that's similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.
Type of medication
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
Glucocorticoid
Synthetic
Prescription only
CorticosteroidOver-the-counter
CorticosteroidPrescription only
Anti-inflammatory, Immunosuppressant
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
Available as
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Lotion
  • Topical solution
  • Eye drops
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
  • Skin inflammation
Risk factors for serious side effects
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
  • Contact with people who have viral illness
  • History of bacterial or viral conditions
  • Duration of treatment
  • History of psychiatric conditions
  • Dose of Decadron (Dexamethasone)
  • Duration of treatment
  • Women of childbearing age
Detailed Decadron (Dexamethasone) risks & warnings »
Coming soon.Coming soon.Coming soon.
Pregnancy category
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • 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.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
  • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
Weight
  • Some people gain weight while taking Decadron (Dexamethasone) or can experience other side effects like mood changes.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
  • 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.
  • Relieves itchy and irritated skin.
  • It's available over the counter in the drugstore.
  • Most people have very few side effects.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • Decreases swelling and redness in your eyes.
  • Doesn't cause the same types of side effects that oral forms of steroids do.
  • Steroid magic, can help you feel better, have more energy and get more appetite.
  • Useful in controlling immune responses that are causing you discomfort, and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, gout attacks.
  • Useful in suppressing the immune system from causing your body harm, like many autoimmune related conditions.
  • Available in many different forms, including injection, that will expose the rest of your body less of the medicine.
Downsides and risks
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
  • 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.
  • It's not a strong steroid, so it doesn't work for everyone.
  • When used longer than a week, it can cause skin-thinning and make it harder for broken skin to heal.
  • Available only as a prescription medication.
  • You need good hand-eye coordination to get the eye drops into your eyes.
  • Can cause or worsen certain eye conditions.
  • Lots of side effects, especially with long term use.
  • Short-term use can cause mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and possible water retention.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • People with certain conditions will have to pay extra attention to their symptoms or may have to adjust the dose of other medicines when taking Medrol.
  • When using corticosteroids for more than 1 week, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
dexamethasoneHydrocortisonePrednisoloneMedrol
  • 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.
  • Rub a thin layer of Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) into the area of skin that is affected.
  • Don't rub it into broken areas of skin and leave the area uncovered.
  • Wash your hands after applying it each time.
  • Don't use Anusol Hc (Hydrocortisone) more often than your doctor or the package label recommends.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes between applying moisturizing lotions and this medication.
  • Talk to your doctor if your skin gets worse or hasn't improved in seven days.
  • Shake the eye drops well before using.
  • Press your finger gently on the inner corner of your eye after the drops are in to keep them there.
  • Wait 1 minute between each drop if you're giving yourself more than 1 drop.
  • If you have other eye drops, wait 5 minutes in between different sets of eye drops.
  • If your symptoms don't get better after 2 days, you may need to try a different medicine.
  • Let your doctor know if you have eye pain, pressure, infections, or changes in eye sight.
  • The dose and duration on how long you need the medicine depends on your condition and response.
  • Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed.
  • Take with food to decrease stomach upset.
  • Can cause trouble sleeping. Take in the morning or 2-3 hours before bed if more than one dose is needed.
  • Can cause changes in mood, blood pressure, blood sugar, and water retention.
  • You should check your blood pressure and blood sugar when taking this medicine if you already have high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • A taper is often needed to stop the medicine, especially if you've been on it for more than 1 week.
Learn more
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about HydrocortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about PrednisoloneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about MedrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert