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Molecule Description

Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid that is similar to a natural hormone produced

by the adrenal glands. It is often used to replace the chemical when the body does not make enough hormones. It is available as oral tablets, oral solution, and eye drops.


Uses of Dexamethasone

  • For the treatment of vision loss due to Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
  • For the treatment of macular edema (occurs when fluid builds up in the retina of an eye) following branch retinal vein occlusion (CRVO)
  • For the treatment of various illnesses causing inflammation in your body
  • For the treatment of several different diseases of the immune system

Contraindications of Dexamethasone

When should one not use Dexamethasone

  • Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to Dexamethasone or any ingredient of this medicine
  • Do not take this medicine if you have an infection that affect your body
  • Do not take this medicine if you require a vaccination, especially with ‘live virus’ vaccines

Side effects of Dexamethasone

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Feeling anxious, sleeping problems, thinking difficulty, confused state of mind and memory loss, sudden changes in mood
  • Mental disturbance
  • Feelings of being lonely
  • Stomach and gut problems
  • Severe pain in the back or tummy
  • Excess fluids build up inside your body
  • Heart and blood problems
  • Bone problems
  • Recurring infections
  • Skin problems
  • Eye problems
  • Hormonal problems (irregular or missing periods, stunted growth in children and teenagers)
  • Feeling of unwell or tiredness

Precautions and Warnings of Dexamethasone



Can I take Dexamethasone during pregnancy?
Dexamethasone crosses the placenta. Especially in the first three months of pregnancy, the medicine should only be used after careful benefit-risk assessment. Women should inform the doctor if they are already pregnant or if they are planning pregnancy because of long-term treatment with this medicine during pregnancy can cause growth disorders in the unborn child.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Dexamethasone while breastfeeding?
It is unknown whether it is excreted in breast milk. Harm to the infant is not yet known. So you should consult with the doctor prior to the use of this medicine.


Can I drive if I have consumed Dexamethasone?
Usually it doesn't affect your ability to drive.


Can I consume alcohol with Dexamethasone?
No information is available on interactions of Dexamethasone when taken with alcohol, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • You have any skin rash or skin itching
  • You have difficulty in breathing or collapse
  • You have swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/ or throat
  • You need any surgery
  • You are suffering from high blood pressure, kidney disease,severe liver diseases,peptic ulcer, osteoporosis, hyperthyroidism,eye problems (cataract and glaucoma)
  • You are diabetic

Mode of Action of Dexamethasone

How Does It Work?

Dexamethasone helps to suppress the unwanted response of the immune system to inflammation, which helps to minimize the harmful symptoms.

Interactions of Dexamethasone

Interactions with other medicines

  • Medicines used for the treatment of heart and blood problems, antibiotics such as Rifampicin and Rifabutin
  • Medicines used for the treatment of epilepsy (such as Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, and Primidone)
  • Medicines used for the treatment of pain or inflammation
  • Medicines used for the treatment of diabetes
  • Medicines used to lower potassium levels
  • Some of the medicines for HIV(Ritonavir, Cobicistat)
  • Oral contraceptives containing oestrogen and progestogen
  • Anti-cancer treatments (Aminoglutethimide), Methotrexate, Ephedrine, Acetazolamide

Interactions with food items

No information is available on interactions of Dexamethasone when taken with food, consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.

Dietary Restrictions of Dexamethasone

No information is available on dietary restrictions while you are taking Dexamethasone, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further details.

Dosage of Dexamethasone


Overdose symptoms may cause swelling of the throat, skin reaction,breathing difficulties. If you are affected, contact your doctor immediately or visit the nearest hospital.

Missed a Dose

Do not take a double dose if you have missed the dose; take the next dose as soon as you remember.

Content Details


Dr. Arpit Verma

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Dexamethasone?

A: Give a detailed account of your medical and surgical history. The doctor should also know about other health supplements like herbal medications, nutritional supplements that you might be taking before starting this medication. Also, tell your doctor specifically if you have diabetes. This medicine may increase glucose levels in your blood or urine. You may need to modify the dose of your diabetes medications.

Q: What are the precautions I should take while on this medicine?

A: Do not take any immunization or vaccination without doctor’s approval while you are on treatment with this medicine. Steroid treatments weaken the immune system. Hence, the doctor should be informed about any infection. Do not stop taking this medicine abruptly as the withdrawal symptoms are severe.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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