Drug Index


Mechanism :

Glucocorticoids both natural and synthetic, are adrenocortical steroids that are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Glucocorticoids cause varied metabolic effects, they modify the body immune responses to diverse stimuli. Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone) have sodium-retaining properties and are used as replacement therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs, including dexamethasone, are primarily used for their anti-inflammatory effects. At equipotent anti-inflammatory doses, dexamethasone almost completely lacks the sodium-retaining property of hydrocortisone.

Indication :

  • Preterm pregnancy to accelerate surfactant production
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
  • Adrenal Insufficiency
  • Croup
  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Raised intracranial pressure
  • Brain tumor induced cerebral edema
  • Airway edema
  • Inflammation
  • Meningitis
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Adrenocortical Hyperfunction test
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Premature Infants

Contraindications :

Use in preterm infants may be associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy. Continuous treatment for over 10 days can produce adrenal suppression for 3-4 weeks. Contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any components of this product.

Systemic fungal infections, cerebral malaria, tuberculosis disease of eye.

Dosing :

Airway Edema:
0.5-2 mg/kg/day orally/IV/IM in 4 divided doses given one day prior to extubation and continued for one day later.
0.6 mg/kg orally/IM/IV, Max: 16 mg.
0.08-0.3 mg/kg/day orally/IV/IM in 2-4 divided doses.
0.6 mg/kg/day IV in 4 divided doses for 2-4 days 10-20 minutes prior or simultaneously with antibiotics.
Cerebral Edema associated with Brain Tumor:
1-2 mg/kg IV/IM stat; Maintained on 1-1.5 mg/kg/day IV/IM in 4-6 divided doses; Max: 16 mg/day.
Spinal Cord Compression:
2 mg/kg/day in in 4 divided doses.
Adrenal Cortical Hyperfunction Test:
1 mg orally at bedtime.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome:
4 mg IM thrice daily to mother 2 days prior to delivery.

Adverse Effect :

Hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction, edema, dry scaly skin, impaired wound healing, rash, striae, suppression of reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of Cushingoid state, hyperglycemia, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, menstrual irregularities, suppression of growth in pediatric patients, hypocalcemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures, depression, instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri), personality changes, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.

Interaction :

Aminoglutethimide: Aminoglutethimide may diminish adrenal suppression by corticosteroids.
Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents: When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting agents patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia.
Antibiotics: Macrolide antibiotics have been reported to cause a significant decrease in corticosteroid clearance.

Renal Dose :

Dose in Renal Impairment GFR (mL/min)
20-50Dose as in normal renal function
10-20Dose as in normal renal function
<10Dose as in normal renal function

Dose in Patients undergoing Renal Replacement Therapies
CAPDNot dialysed. Dose as in normal renal function
HDNot dialysed. Dose as in normal renal function
HDF/High fluxUnknown dialysability. Dose as in normal renal function
CAV/VVHDRemoval unlikely. Dose as in normal renal function

Hepatic Dose :

Use with caution. Adjust dose as per clinical response.
03/20/2024 12:22:00 Dexamethasone
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