Decadron (active substance Dexamethasone) is a synthetic glucocorticoid that has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. This medication of systemic action which is not aimed at any particular disease treatment – it affects the body so that the disease passes.
Dexamethasone is an artificially synthesized compound. It was first received in 1957. Now, however, this substance contains essential medicines.
In fact, this drug is a hormone which is produced naturally by the human adrenal glands. It regulates the metabolism. Most of this is seen in the redistribution of fats, proteins, carbohydrates and other elements. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effect makes it a multi-purpose medicine.
It is a particularly potent glucocorticoid, and is 25–30 times more effective than hydrocortisone, with a lesser effect on the electrolyte balance. In equal therapeutic doses with hydrocortisone and derivatives close to it, this drug has almost no effect of sodium retention.
In addition, Decadron is prescribed for the treatment of conditions in which anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive therapy with corticosteroids is indicated, especially for intensive treatment for a short period of time. Also it is used as a supplement, for the treatment of nausea and vomiting, manifested during chemotherapy with and without cisplatin.
The use of glucocorticoids causes deep and diverse metabolic effects and changes the body's immune response to various factors.
The effect of its action is based on the binding of certain biologically active substances produced by the pituitary, the effect on the central nervous system, as well as participation in the blood-forming processes. Thus, the action of this agent extends to the entire human body. In addition, this substance is involved in metabolism.
However, it should be remembered that Dexamethasone is a very effective remedy, but only when it was prescribed by a professional doctor. Do not self-medicate. It can harm your health!
The main contraindications are:
- myocardial infarction (the drug prevents the formation of scar on the heart muscle);
- severe heart failure;
- internal bleeding;
- Itsenko-Cushing syndrome;
- obesity of grade 3–4;
- immunodeficiency states, including AIDS or HIV carrier;
- severe osteoporosis;
- mental disorders;
- ulcerative diseases of the stomach and duodenum;
- ulcerative colitis with the threat of perforation;
- chronic renal failure.
With particular caution this drug can be applied in older patients. For children, the drug is prescribed only in case of absolute indications.
The drug is prescribed with extreme caution during pregnancy, especially if its need for use is caused in the first trimester of the baby. During breastfeeding, it is better to completely exclude this drug, since unpredictable consequences may occur.
You should also be careful to prescribe the drug for bacterial and viral infections. First of all, it refers to tuberculosis. Indeed, one of the effects of the drug is reduced immunity. This means that with infections, the immune system can no longer work in full force to fight viruses and bacteria. Therefore, the prescription of Dexamethasone in such cases must be combined with etiotropic therapy – supported by antibiotics or antiviral drugs.
The dose of the drug is selected individually. The amount of the dose is determined by the type of disease, the degree of its severity and the nature of the patient's response.
Tablets should be taken before and during the meal in the amount of 2 pills. Injections are used at the rate of 1-2 ml per day. They can be injected both into the muscle and into the vein. Drops are used during the month (1 drop 4 times a day). If the disease is of an emergency nature, the dosage is prescribed by the attending doctor. Self-medication with this remedy is absolutely unacceptable.
How to take Decadron?
The drug is available in solution for intramuscular or intravenous administration, and tablets. The method of use of the drug is chosen by the doctor and depends on the diagnosis, the severity of the disease and the age of the patient.
The solution for injection can be administered intravenously (as an injection or infusion with glucose solution or saline), intramuscularly and topically (intra-articularly, in the areas of skin lesions, into soft tissues).
As in the case of other drugs from the group of glucocorticosteroids, this drug during long-term therapy can cause drug dependence, and an abrupt cessation of drug treatment can sometimes lead to serious health consequences. In addition, the drug inhibits the synthesis of steroid hormones generated by the human adrenal glands. Usually, after its use is discontinued, the adrenal function returns to normal. However, this is not always the case. If the adrenal function remains depressed, the patient develops adrenal insufficiency, which in severe cases leads to death.
For greater efficiency, the patient must comply with such recommendations:
- Strictly adhere to the dose prescribed by the doctor and do not change it yourself in one direction or another;
- When prescribing a dose of more than one tablet (more than 0.5 mg), it is best to crush the tablets to a powder;
- The drug is taken exclusively in the morning on an empty stomach no later than 8:00;
- It is undesirable to skip the pill, but if this happens, you need to level the concentration of the drug dose and take the pill in the evening;
- The minimum course of treatment is 5 days, so it is advisable to have on hand a full supply of medication;
- In the event of adverse reactions, it is necessary to stop taking the drug and report it to your doctor;
- It is also prohibited to consume alcohol and any sweet carbohydrate meals with the drug.
- To avoid deterioration after discontinuation of Decadron, the drug should be discontinued gradually.
One of the negative aspects of the drug is a fairly large number of side effects. Side effects when taking Decadrone can affect various body systems are as follows:
- gastrointestinal tract,
- respiratory system,
- cardiovascular system
- nervous system.
Also not excluded are the intolerance reactions of the drug – angioedema, skin allergic reactions, pruritus.
Overdose may increase side effects, increased blood pressure. Overdose requires symptomatic treatment. If the drug was taken orally, it is recommended to take gastrointestinal adsorbents. Hemodialysis is ineffective due to the high degree of the drug's connection with blood proteins.
It is known that Decadron enhances the action of some drugs, while the action of others, on the contrary, blocks. Therefore, it is necessary to know about negative drug interactions so that treatment with these and other drugs would be more effective. Furthermore, some drugs cannot be taken with Decadron. This category, in particular, includes NSAIDs. In case of their administration, the side effects of Decadron may be increased.
Decadron may alter the effect of coumarinic anticoagulants; therefore, more frequent monitoring of prothrombin time is recommended during therapy.
It ought to be said that this agent weakens the effect of vitamin D on the absorption of calcium ions in the intestinal lumen. Ergocalciferol and parathyroid hormone prevent the development of osteopathy caused by Dexamethasone.
Can Dexamethasone and alcohol hurt our health? As soon as a person begins to take this or that medicine, he starts being interested in its compatibility with other substances. After all, when it comes to such serious pharmacological agents as Dexamethasone, the question arises whether it is possible to take alcohol and what consequences may occur.
People who take Dexamethasone often ask one important question about whether it is permissible to drink alcohol in parallel with a course of treatment. But any drug in combination with alcohol can cause negative consequences or simply nullify all treatment.
In the case of simultaneous use of this drug and alcohol, the following reactions are not excluded:
- Pain at the site of the injection.
- Abnormal stool.
- Partial loss of vision.
- Abundant rash of acne on the patient's face.
- Nausea and gag reflex.
- Disorders of the digestive tract, ulceration is possible.
- Characteristic reddening of the skin in the chest.
- Bleeding can occur that is very difficult to stop.
Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of Dexamethasone and causes severe complications. Alcohol must be eliminated to the full. Do not hope that a small dosage of alcohol will not cause the above phenomena, because all these symptoms can occur from one glass of strong drinks.
The following are reviews of patients and treating physicians:
Theresa: I was prescribed injections of Decadron. I started treatment course and I felt much better. I have to add that it is very important to store this medication in the refrigerator. Cold medicine is more easily tolerated for some reason. And do not forget to ask your doctor about compatibility with other medications and your condition. My sister's blood pressure dropped because of Dexamethasone.
Aina: I work in the dust. After a while, I began to sneeze, my eyes began to water. After consulting with the doctor, it turned out that I was allergic. The doctor recommended taking Decadron. I am very pleased with the result. I like the fact that it is an affordable drug and can be taken continuously.
Rheumatologist: I have been using this active ingredient for 29 years as a rheumatologist. As a steroid hormone, it has a fast membrane stabilizing effect, which is used in urgent therapy of shock conditions. For painful musculoskeletal syndromes I use it in the form of combined injections with anesthetics. Quick effect, well tolerated.
However, it should be remembered that, like all steroids, this substance is limitedly used in diabetes and immunodeficiency.
Massage therapist: This medication is a strong analgesic with a pronounced antihistamine effect, which acts very quickly. I prescribe it for paravertebral blockades, if it is impossible to remove the pain syndrome with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and the patient does not have time or desire to undergo a full course of treatment for the disease that causes pain syndrome.