Dexamethasone is a prescription medicine. It reduces inflammation. Patients can take this medication as a tablet or liquid, though it may also be prescribed intravenously. Eye drops of this medication are used to treat eye conditions. A topical form is available for some skin conditions. Muscle weakness, increased appetite, insomnia, and heartburn are some of the most common side effects of this medicine. Patients are closely monitored during treatment. They should let their doctor know immediately if they develop signs of infection, including chills or a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many individuals take a dexamethasone pill as an arthritis treatment. Of course, a dexamethasone tablet may also help as a treatment for ulcerative colitis. Some patients may use it as a topical medication for eczema or other skin conditions. Ultimately, however, patients must understand how this medication works before determining if it is the best treatment for their needs.
How It Works
Dexamethasone is part of a group of medicines called glucocorticosteroids. These medicines weaken the immune system and decrease inflammation. The medication reduces inflammation by stopping polymorphonuclear leukocytes (white blood cells) from reaching the inflamed area. White blood cells combat infection. Since dexamethasone blocks their normal action, patients are more susceptible to infection while taking this medication. It helps patients with adrenal insufficiency too. Patients with this condition have lower levels of the hormones released by the adrenal gland, and dexamethasone replaces them. Scientists believe that this medication may also work by causing certain cells to die.
Continue reading to learn about the uses and benefits of this medication next.