Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5mg belongs to a group of drugs called corticosteroids/steroids. Steroids are anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs used to treat a wide variety of conditions.
What does Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5 mg contain?
This drug contains dexamethasone, a long-acting systemic glucocorticoid whose potency is 25x greater than short-acting steroids (e.g. cortisone, hydrocortisone).
As a treatment, it has been useful in treating conditions, such as allergies, acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis (autoimmune disease affecting the myelin sheath of the brain and spinal cord), cerebral edema (brain swelling), inflammation in various parts of the body, and shock.
Patients with conditions such as asthma, atopic and contact dermatitis (skin irritation), and drug allergic reactions have benefited from dexamethasone. It also helps in relieving side effects of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Recently, it has been recommended for severely ill COVID-19 patients on supplemental oxygen and ventilatory support.
Moreover, it is used as a diagnostic tool for Cushing syndrome, a condition wherein the body produces too much cortisol.
How does Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5 mg work?
Dubbed as a miracle or wonder drugs, steroids like dexamethasone, work by suppressing the immune system functions, thereby relieving signs and symptoms of inflammation, like swelling, redness, and pain.
Who cannot take Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5 mg?
It is contraindicated in patients who have an:
- Ongoing systemic fungal infection,
- Allergy to dexamethasone, or
- Cerebral malaria (malaria affecting the brain).
It is also not advised to administer live or live-attenuated vaccines (e.g. measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, chickenpox, yellow fever) during dexamethasone use. The immune system will be suppressed, placing the patient at risk of infection. You may get these vaccines 3 months after cessation of steroids.
How should you take Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5 mg?
This drug should be taken at the dose, frequency, and duration prescribed by your doctor. The dosage and length of treatment will depend on the age, weight, disease severity, and response. You may view Additional Information tab for recommended doses.
You’ll usually take it once a day. Take it in the morning with or immediately after your breakfast. Do not take it on an empty stomach. Swallow it whole with a glass of water. Do not take it with alcohol. Unless your doctor gives you different instructions, take your full dose in one go. If your doctor prescribes dexamethasone 2 or 3 times a day, take the last dose before 6pm, so it will less likely affect your sleep.
If you’re taking it for longer than a few weeks, your dose may change. Depending on your response and symptom relief, your doctor may increase or decrease your dose.
Use of this drug should be tapered gradually. You should not stop it abruptly, especially if you have been taking it for a long time and at high doses, to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
What if you miss a dose?
If you take dexamethasone once a day and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose and take the next one at the usual time.
If you take it 2 or 3 times a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless it’s less than 2 hours until your next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and take the next one as scheduled.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
What if you take too much?
Taking 1 or 2 extra doses is unlikely to harm you. If you’re worried talk to a healthcare professional.
If you take too much of the drug for more than a few days, it can harm you. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
What are the side effects of Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5 mg?
Although it is well-tolerated, it does have side effects. The most frequently reported adverse effect by patients is the presence of insomnia after use. Other frequent adverse effects include:
- Fluid retention, electrolyte imbalances
- Weight gain, increased appetite
- Nausea, vomiting
- Mild mood changes
- Increased risk of infections and impaired wound healing
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Growth retardation in children with prolonged use
Continue taking the drug, but talk to your doctor if these symptoms bother you.
Serious side effects are more likely with higher doses and longer treatment period. Inform your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms:
- Fever/chills, very sore throat, ear or sinus pain, coughing up more mucus, pain on urination, and wounds that do not heal – These can be signs of infection.
- Lightheadedness, weakness, persistent and severe abdominal pain/nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite – These can be signs of adrenal crisis.
- Sleepy or confused, excessive thirst/hunger, frequent urination, rapid breathing, breath that smells like fruit – These can be signs of high blood sugar (hyperglycemic states).
- Muscle pain, weakness, or cramps, faster heartbeat – These may indicate low potassium levels.
- Sudden changes in eyesight
- Itchy rash, blistered/peeling skin, swollen face, lips, or tongue, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing/speaking – These are signs of a serious allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis.
What other precautions should be taken?
Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by a doctor. Pediatric patients are more likely to have a slower growth and bone problems if dexamethasone is used for a long time. Doses should be taken as prescribed, and the patient will have to have regular follow-ups with a doctor.
Elderly patients are more likely to have osteoporosis (weak bones) and age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose of the drug.
Steroids are usually not recommended for pregnancy as there is an increased risk of oral cleft formations in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, your doctor may prescribe this drug if s/he thinks its benefits outweigh the risks. You may need to have more frequent checks with your doctor to see how your baby is doing.
You can take this drug while you’re breastfeeding, but it can get into the breastmilk. Wait at least 3 hours after you take your medicine before breastfeeding. Ask your doctor for advice.
Before taking this drug, inform your doctor if you have any of the following conditions. It is important to use caution when you have these conditions:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart failure
- Gastrointestinal disease, like peptic ulcer disease and diverticulitis
- Eye diseases, like cataract and glaucoma
- Osteoporosis, especially in the elderly
Let your doctor know if you are taking any of the following drugs as they may increase/decrease the effectiveness of each other.
- Anti-epilepsy (carbamazepine, phenytoin, barbiturates)
- Antibiotics (rifampicin, erythromycin)
- Antifungal (ketoconazole)
- Diuretics (furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide)
- Anticoagulant (warfarin)
You can take alcohol with the drug.
The drug does not make you feel sleep, so it is safe to drive while taking it. However, if your eyesight is affected, it is not safe to do so.
Diet and Lifestyle
You can eat and drink normally while using this medicine.
How should you store Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5 mg?
Keep this medication out of child’s reach and sight. Furthermore, store at no more than 25°C. Keep your pills in their original package; do not move them to another container. Then, take this drug no later than the expiry date listed on the tablet and packaging after EXP. The expiration date is the final day of that month. Lastly, do not dispose of pharmaceuticals in wastewater or household garbage. Inquire with your pharmacist about how to dispose of expired medications.
- Do not take it more often or longer than advised by your doctor.
- Do not stop taking this drug suddenly, especially if you have been using it for a long time, without consulting with your doctor. Serious side effects can occur.
- Because this drug can weaken your immune system, notify your doctor if you have signs of infection, like cough and fever.
What company produces Dexamethasone (Dexona) 0.5 mg?
|Chairman: Pankaj R. Patel
Founder: Ramanbhai B. Patel
Headquarters: Ahmedabad, India
Number of employees: 23,000
Subsidiaries: Zydus Wellness, Zydus Pharmaceuticals
For over 27 years, we have been on a path of innovation, bridging unmet healthcare needs. Today, we embark on a new journey of our organizational transformation. Cadila Healthcare Limited is now renamed as Zydus Lifesciences Limited.(1/1) pic.twitter.com/IioKw9CBnX
— Zydus Lifesciences Ltd. (@ZydusUniverse) February 24, 2022
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. Recommended doses are as follows. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis
– Ongoing systemic fungal infection
30 Pills, 60 Pills, 90 Pills