Brand Names

Decadron® (There may be other brand names for this medication)

How is it Administered?

Dexamethasone may be taken by mouth (tablets or liquid) or given as an injection into a vein (IV), a muscle (IM), or a joint (intraarticular). It can also be applied locally to the eyes (drops) or to the skin (lotion).

Why am I Taking Dexamethasone?

Dexamethasone reduces swelling (inflammation), increases appetite, and decreases nausea/vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It may reverse allergic reactions, treat certain types of cancer, prevent transplant rejection, lower blood calcium, and increase feelings of energy and well-being.

How Does it work?

Your adrenal glands (located atop the kidneys) produce hormones called corticosteroids. These hormones regulate the day-to-day functions of your cells (metabolism), help keep fluids and electrolytes in balance, and affect your cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.

Dexamethasone is a man-made (synthetic) version of a corticosteroid that is a natural anti-inflammatory hormone. It reduces/prevents your body’s normal immune/inflammatory response (redness, heat, swelling, and pain). Since your immune system is weaker, you may get infections more easily, and it may be harder to get rid of an infection you already have.

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