Dexamethasone is a type of medication used to help with inflammation in the body. It is in the steroidal family of drugs and is used to treat all sorts of medical conditions that result in inflammation. Steroids are very strong medications that should only be used under a doctor’s supervision. Many other medications and medical conditions can be effected while taking this medication so it extremely important to speak to your doctor about all previous medical conditions or medications that have been or are being taken.

Since steroids are very powerful drugs the dosage may need to be monitored in order to prevent any serious side effects from occurring. Some people are allergic to dexamethasone and if any symptoms of an allergic reaction become present after taking the medication then your doctor should become notified immediately. Anyone that currently has any type of fungal infection, on or in the body, should not use this type of medication.

This form of steroid is currently used to treat conditions such as arthritis, ulcerative colitis, breathing disorders, skin conditions, allergic reactive disorders, psoriasis and lupus. All steroid medications can cause the immune system of the patient to become weakened. This means that a patient using dexamethasone may become more susceptible to infections. If you find that you have developed a new infection or illness after starting treatment involving dexamethasone then talk to your doctor immediately. Before starting the medication you should also inform your doctor of any recent infections or illnesses that you have suffered from within the last few weeks. They may be more likely to return and worsen once your immune system is weakened by the steroidal medication. Once you have started using the medication you should avoid contact with anyone who is contagious with a virus or infection. You may get the infection and suffer from worse symptoms due to your immune system not being able to fight off the infection as it normally would. Any exposure to measles or chicken pox should be reported to your doctor so they can make sure you are immunized properly.

Unfortunately a person using steroids that contracts one of these viruses could become extremely ill or even suffer fatal consequences. Also avoid getting the flu vaccine while using steroids since you could become ill from the living virus in the vaccine.

Once you have started using dexamethasone make sure you take it according to the instructions your doctor has given you. Report any side effects but do not discontinue use of the medication until your doctor has advised you to. Discontinuing the use of this product suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms and should also be evaluated by a medical professional. When you are ready to stop taking the medication, dosages should be lessened slowly until you are able to come off the medication without withdrawal symptoms.

As of now it is unclear whether or not taking Dexamethasone during pregnancy is harmful to an unborn baby. If you are currently pregnant or plan to become pregnant then you should let your doctor know. He or she may feel that taking the steroid would not be beneficial under these circumstances. Also if you are a nursing mother, make sure to ask your doctor before starting steroidal treatment. Research has shown that steroids can be passed through breast milk and can affect the growth rate of a nursing infant.

As with any medication there are benefits and side effects that can occur. Only your physician will know the best form of treatment for your current condition so make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Last updated on Jan 8th, 2010 and filed under Drugs and Medications. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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