Dexamethasone is in a class called corticosteroids. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid used as an anti-inflammatory to treat a variety of conditions including lupus, acute arthritis, allergies, cancers, brain swelling, and other conditions.
How it works: Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid which inhibits inflammation, and reduces irritation, redness, burning, and swelling.
Dosage & Administration: Give this medication exactly as directed by your veterinarian. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If you do not understand the directions ask the pharmacist or veterinarian to explain them to you. Store dexamethasone at room temperature. Keep this medication out of the reach of children and pets.
Tip: When discontinuing use of this medication after prolonged treatment, withdrawal should be gradual, not abrupt.
What happens if I miss giving a dose: Give the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and give the next one as directed. Do not give a double dose of the medication.
What happens if I overdose the pet: An overdose of this medication is unlikely. If an overdose is suspected, seek emergency veterinary medical treatment. Symptoms of overdose may include vomiting, diarrhea, and Cushing's disease in certain species.
What should I avoid while giving Dexamethasone: Do not give dexamethasone if your pet is also being given an NSAID such as aspirin or carprofen (Rimadyl), and others. Do not administer this medication in the presence of a systemic fungal infection. Do not administer any live virus vaccines.
Possible side effects of Dexamethasone: Side effects of dexamethasone may include changes in appetite, increased thirst and urination, drowsiness, and hyperglycemia. Long term use may cause symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, impaired wound healing, and muscle loss and weakness. Continue the medication and talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to your pet.
What other medications will affect Dexamethasone: Before giving dexamethasone, tell your veterinarian if your pet is being given any other oral steroid medications such as prednisone, prednisOLOne, Methylprednisolone or others. Tell your veterinarian if the pet is being given furosemide, NSAIDs such as carprofen (Rimadyl), deracoxib (Deramaxx), or etodolac (EtoGesic), phenytoin (Dilantin), Phenobarbital, cyclosporine (Atopica), or mitotane (Lysodren). Drugs other than those listed may also interact with dexamethasone. Talk to your veterinarian or pharmacist before giving any prescription or over the counter medicines.
What should I discuss with my veterinarian before giving Dexamethasone to my pet: Do not use dexamethasone if the pet has a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection without also using proper anti-infective treatment. Do not use this medication in animals allergic to it. Tell your veterinarian if the animal has heart disease, seizures, diabetes, osteoporosis, or impaired liver function. Tell your veterinarian if your pet is pregnant or lactating. Corticosteroid therapy may induce delivery in large animal species during the latter stages of pregnancy.
Cautions: Give this medication exactly as directed by your veterinarian. Do not stop using this medication suddenly, especially if it has been used for several weeks or more. The dose may need to be reduced over several days to prevent side effects.