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Dexamethasone (Dexamethasone) - Summary



Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection, USP, is a water-soluble inorganic ester of dexamethasone which produces a rapid response even when injected intramuscularly.

By intravenous or intramuscular injection when oral therapy is not feasible:

1. Endocrine Disorders

     Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids

     where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance).

     Acute adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; mineralocorticoid supplementation may be necessary, particularly when synthetic analogs

     are used).

     Preoperatively, and in the event of serious trauma or illness, in patients with known adrenal insufficiency or when adrenocortical reserve is doubtful.

     Shock unresponsive to conventional therapy if adrenocortical insufficiency exists or is suspected.

     Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

     Nonsuppurative thyroiditis

     Hypercalcemia associated with cancer

2. Rheumatic Disorders

     As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:

     Post-traumatic osteoarthritis

     Synovitis of osteoarthritis

     Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy).

     Acute and subacute bursitis


     Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis

     Acute gouty arthritis

     Psoriatic arthritis

     Ankylosing spondylitis

3. Collagen Diseases

     During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:

     Systemic lupus erythematosus

     Acute rheumatic carditis

4. Dermatologic Diseases


     Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)

     Exfoliative dermatitis

     Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis

     Severe seborrheic dermatitis

     Severe psoriasis

     Mycosis fungoides

5. Allergic States

     Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in:

     Bronchial asthma

     Contact dermatitis

     Atopic dermatitis

     Serum sickness

     Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis

     Drug hypersensitivity reactions

     Urticarial transfusion reactions

     Acute noninfectious laryngeal edema (epinephrine is the drug of first choice).

6. Ophthalmic Diseases

     Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye, such as:

     Herpes zoster ophthalmicus

     Iritis, iridocyclitis


     Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis

     Optic neuritis

     Sympathetic ophthalmia

     Anterior segment inflammation

     Allergic conjunctivitis


     Allergic corneal marginal ulcers

7. Gastrointestinal Diseases

     To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:

     Ulcerative colitis (systemic therapy)

     Regional enteritis (systemic therapy)

8. Respiratory Diseases

     Symptomatic sarcoidosis


     Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

     Loeffler’s syndrome not manageable by other means.

     Aspiration pneumonitis

9. Hematologic Disorders

     Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia.

     Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults

     (IV only; IM administration is contraindicated).

     Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults

     Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia)

     Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia

10. Neoplastic Diseases

     For palliative management of:

     Leukemias and lymphomas in adults

     Acute leukemia of childhood

11. Edematous States

     To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus.

12. Miscellaneous

     Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.

     Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement.

13. Diagnostic testing of adrenocortical hyperfunction.

14. Cerebral Edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, craniotomy, or head injury.  Use in cerebral edema is not a substitute for careful neurosurgical evaluation

     and definitive management such as neurosurgery or other specific therapy.  

See all Dexamethasone indications & dosage >>


Published Studies Related to Dexamethasone

A randomized clinical trial of the effects of submucosal dexamethasone after surgery for mandibular fractures. [2015]
mandibular fractures... CONCLUSION: The results of our study suggest that submucosal administration of

A multi-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial protocol to assess Traumeel injection vs dexamethasone injection in rotator cuff syndrome: the TRAumeel in ROtator cuff syndrome (TRARO) study protocol. [2015]
BACKGROUND: Shoulder pain is a common musculoskeletal symptom with a wide range of potential causes; however, the majority of conditions can be managed with conservative treatment... DISCUSSION: It is hoped that the results of this trial will expand the treatment options and evidence base available for the management of rotator cuff disease.

Comparison of local and intravenous dexamethasone for postoperative pain and recovery after tonsillectomy. [2015]
injection for postoperative pain and recovery after tonsillectomy... CONCLUSION: Local infiltration of dexamethasone was more effective than systemic

Effect of combined dexamethasone therapy with nebulized r-epinephrine or salbutamol in infants with bronchiolitis: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. [2014]
bronchodilators alone for the treatment of infants with bronchiolitis... CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to a body of evidence suggesting that

The effects of perineural versus intravenous dexamethasone on sciatic nerve blockade outcomes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. [2014]
block characteristics... CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative administration of IV and perineural dexamethasone

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Dexamethasone

Dexamethasone Therapy in VLBW Infants at Risk of CLD [Completed]
Infants who are on breathing support are often treated with steroids (dexamethasone); however, the best timing of therapy is not known. This trial looked at the benefits and hazards of starting dexamethasone therapy at two weeks of age and four weeks of age in premature infants.

An Investigation of Dexamethasone With Different Doses in the Management of Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) [Recruiting]
The project was undertaking by Qilu Hospital of Shandong University and other 7 well-known hospitals in China. In order to report the efficacy and safety of different dose dexamethasone in treating the immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).

Dexamethasone for the Treatment of Established Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting [Recruiting]
Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) are frequent after surgery and anaesthesia. Dexamethasone is widely used as antiemetic for the prevention of PONV. Little is known about the efficacy of antiemetic drugs for the treatment of established PONV symptoms. No single randomised trial has been published so far that tests the efficacy of dexamethasone for the treatment of established PONV symptoms. In this trial the investigators want to test the antiemetic efficacy of three different doses of intravenous dexamethasone for the treatment of established PONV symptoms. In adjunct protocols of this study the investigators aim to establish a novel method to quantify the anti-nausea efficacy of an antiemetic drug, to study pharmacogenetics of PONV, and to further our understanding on the smoking status as a predictive factor of PONV.

Dexamethasone in Lower Third Molar Surgery [Recruiting]
The aim of this randomized double-blind cross over clinical trial is to investigate effectiveness of different routes of applications (intramuscular and submucous at the site of surgery) and doses (4 mg and 8 mg) of Dexamethasone on swelling, trismus, pain and quality of life after lower third molar surgery.

Hearing Preservation Using Dexamethasone and Hyaluronic Acid for Cochlear Implantation [Completed]

more trials >>

Reports of Suspected Dexamethasone Side Effects

Death (226)Neutropenia (187)Pneumonia (174)Fatigue (165)Pyrexia (163)Diarrhoea (139)Dyspnoea (135)Sepsis (129)Thrombocytopenia (119)Anaemia (116)more >>


Based on a total of 1 ratings/reviews, Dexamethasone has an overall score of 3. The effectiveness score is 4 and the side effect score is 10. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst.

Dexamethasone review by 38 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Marginally Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   bronchial infection
Dosage & duration:   0.75 mg taken varied for the period of 8 days
Other conditions:   cough, congestion
Other drugs taken:   none
Reported Results
Benefits:   marginal, not sure if recovrey was from the drug or from the infection running it's course.
Side effects:   none; however, anxiety was a result because of the confusing way the dosage was explained. Here is the detail: 2 tabs today, then 2 tabs twice a day for x3 days, 1 tab 2x daily x2 days, then 1 tab in am x2 days.
Comments:   Chronic bronchitis-type sympptoms were treated, daily dosage varied and was confusing and difficult to administer. Not able to pinpoint if recovery came from the infection running it's course or from the drug. No side affects, but anxiety taking a steriod in such an unusual way.

See all Dexamethasone reviews / ratings >>

Page last updated: 2015-08-10

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