Last Updated 14 Jan 2013
Dexamethasone (Dexa-meth-ah-zone) is a medicine which is used in a number of conditions.
The information in this Medicine Guide for Dexamethasone varies according to the condition being treated and the particular preparation used.
Information specific to Dexamethasone 0.1% eye drops when used in Eye surgery and procedures
People who take corticosteroids for a long period of time are prone to infections as their immune system can become weak. These infections may be much more severe than they usually would be and the symptoms that would usually be used to identify such infections can be hidden.
When Dexamethasone is being used in the eye, Dexamethasone may still be absorbed into the body causing side effects. When it is used over a long period of time or in large amounts, the amount of Dexamethasone that is absorbed into the body increases. This increases the chances of Dexamethasone causing side effects in areas of the body other than the eye.
Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.
The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much medicine you should use. It also tells you how often you should use your medicine. This is the dose that you and your prescriber have agreed you should use. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your prescriber.
Specific information on when to use Dexamethasone can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine. Alternatively, you can request information about when to take your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.
Some medicines have specific instructions about how to take them. This is because they work better when taken correctly. These instructions can include getting the right dose and special instructions for preparing the medicine.
Specific information on how to use Dexamethasone can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. Alternatively, you can request information about how to take your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are having problems taking this form of Dexamethasone, you should talk to your prescriber or pharmacist. They may be able to give you advice on other ways to take your medicine or other preparations that are easier for you to take.
Taking extra doses of some medicines can be harmful. In some cases even one extra dose can cause you problems. If you take extra doses of your medicine, you must get medical advice immediately. You may need a test to assess the effect of taking extra doses. This is because the effects of taking too much medicine are very complex so it is very important that you seek medical advice.
If you are not having any problems taking this medicine then do not stop using it, even if you feel better, unless advised to do so by your prescriber. If, however, you find that this medicine is causing you problems then you should talk to your prescriber about your concerns.
If your medical team decides that it is best that you do not take this medicine any more, they may advise that you do not stop Dexamethasone abruptly. This is because, in some instances, stopping Dexamethasone abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms or cause your original condition to return. In these instances, reducing the dose of Dexamethasone gradually over time may reduce the chances of having these problems.
The instructions on how you should keep your medicine are on the pharmacy label. It is a good idea to keep your medicine in the original container. This will help to keep your medicine in the best condition and also allow you to check the instructions. Do not take the medicine if the packaging appears to have been tampered with or if the medicine shows any signs of damage. Make sure that the medicine is out of the sight and reach of children.
Specific information on how to look after Dexamethasone can be found in the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with this medicine or on the medicine label. Alternatively, you can request information about how to look after your medicine from your doctor or pharmacist.
Dexamethasone is not suitable for everyone and some people should never use it. Other people should only use it with special care. It is important that the person prescribing this medicine knows your full medical history.
Over time it is possible that Dexamethasone can become unsuitable for some people, or they may become unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that Dexamethasone has become unsuitable, it is important that the prescriber is contacted immediately.
Once a medicine has been licensed, information on the medicine's effects, both intended and unintended, is continuously recorded and updated.
Some side-effects may be serious while others may only be a mild inconvenience.
Everyone's reaction to a medicine is different. It is difficult to predict which side-effects you will have from taking a particular medicine, or whether you will have any side-effects at all. The important thing is to tell your prescriber or pharmacist if you are having problems with your medicine.
If you feel unwell or if you have concerns about a side-effect, you will need to seek advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist, nurse or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
There are no known important interactions between Dexamethasone and other medicines. This is because the medicine acts where it is applied and only a very small amount of Dexamethasone is absorbed into the body. If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking Dexamethasone and other medicines you should tell your prescriber.
Medicines can interact with complementary preparations and vitamins. In general, there is not much information available about interactions between medicines and complementary preparations or vitamins.
Your prescriber can advise whether it is appropriate for you to take combinations that are known to interact. They can also discuss with you the possible effect that the complementary preparations and vitamins may have on your condition.
When taking any medicine you should be aware that it might interfere with your ability to drive or operate machinery safely.
In the case of Dexamethasone:
You must not drive or operate machinery unless your vision has returned to normal after using Dexamethasone.
Most medicines, in some way, can affect the development of a baby in the womb. The effect on the baby differs between medicines and also depends on the stage of pregnancy that you have reached when you take the medicine.
In the case of Dexamethasone:
You need to discuss your specific circumstances with your doctor to make a decision about whether you are going to take this medicine during pregnancy. You should only take this medicine during pregnancy if your doctor thinks you need to take it. If the decision is that you should not have Dexamethasone, then you should discuss whether there is an alternative medicine that you could take during pregnancy.
Certain medicines can pass into breast milk and may reach your baby through breast-feeding.
In the case of Dexamethasone:
Before you have your baby you should discuss breast-feeding with your doctor or midwife. They will help you decide what is best for you and your baby based on the benefits and risks associated with this medicine. You should only breast-feed your baby while taking this medicine on the advice of your doctor or midwife.
Medicines contain active ingredients. They may also contain other, additional ingredients that help ensure the stability, safety and effectiveness of the medicine. They are also added to improve the medicine's appearance and to make it easier to use. Some may be used to prolong the life of the medicine.
This medicine contains dexamethasone.
We are unable to list all of the ingredients for your medicine here. For a full list, you should refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with this medicine. You should check that you are able to take the ingredients of your medicine, especially if you have any allergies. You should also check whether any of these ingredients are known to have side-effects.
If you are not able to take any of the ingredients in your medicine, talk to your prescriber or pharmacist to see if they can suggest an alternative medicine. If you have reacted badly to Dexamethasone before, do not take Dexamethasone. Talk to your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse as soon as possible.
Dexamethasone, Version 11, last updated 14 Jan 2013