Medically reviewed by Kovalenko Svetlana Olegovna, PharmD. Last updated on 2020-04-03
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Top 20 medicines with the same components:
Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis, and serum sickness.
Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, exfoliative erythroderma, mycosis fungoides, pemphigus, and severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).
Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; may be used in conjunction with synthetic mineralocorticoid analogs where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypercalcemia associated with cancer, and nonsuppurative thyroiditis.
To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in regional enteritis and ulcerative colitis.
Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia (Diamond-Blackfan anemia), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults, pure red cell aplasia, and selected cases of secondary thrombocytopenia.
Diagnostic testing of adrenocortical hyperfunction, trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement, tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.
For the palliative management of leukemias and lymphomas.
Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, craniotomy, or head injury.
Sympathetic ophthalmia, temporal arteritis, uveitis, and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.
To induce a diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome or that due to lupus erythematosus.
Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.
As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis, acute rheumatic carditis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Cerebral oedema caused by brain tumours, neurosurgery, bacterial meningitis, brain abscess.
Pulmonary and respiratory diseases
Severe acute asthma attack.
Oral initial treatment of extensive, severe, acute skin diseases that respond to glucocorticoids, such as erythroderma, pemphigus vulgaris, acute eczema.
Oral initial treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (especially visceral forms).
Severely progressive form of active rheumatoid arthritis, e.g. rapidly destructive forms and/or with extra-articular manifestations.
Severe infections with toxic conditions (e.g. tuberculosis, typhoid) only with concomitant anti-infective therapy.
Palliative treatment of malignant tumours.
Congenital adrenogenital syndrome in adulthood.
For Oral Administration
The initial dosage varies from 0.75 to 9 mg a day depending on the disease being treated.
It Should Be Emphasized That Dosage Requirements Are Variable And Must Be Individualized On The Basis Of The Disease Under Treatment And The Response Of The Patient.
After a favorable response is noted, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial drug dosage in small decrements at appropriate time intervals until the lowest dosage that maintains an adequate clinical response is reached.
Situations which may make dosage adjustments necessary are changes in clinical status secondary to remissions or exacerbations in the disease process, the patient’s individual drug responsiveness, and the effect of patient exposure to stressful situations not directly related to the disease entity under treatment. In this latter situation it may be necessary to increase the dosage of the corticosteroid for a period of time consistent with the patient’s condition. If after long-term therapy the drug is to be stopped, it is recommended that it be withdrawn gradually rather than abruptly.
In the treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, daily doses of 30 mg of dexamethasone for a week followed by 4 to 12 mg every other day for one month have been shown to be effective (see PRECAUTIONS, Neuro-Psychiatric).
In pediatric patients, the initial dose of dexamethasone may vary depending on the specific disease entity being treated. The range of initial doses is 0.02 to 0.3 mg/kg/day in three or four divided doses (0.6 to 9 mg/m2bsa/day).
For the purpose of comparison, the following is the equivalent milligram dosage of the various corticosteroids:
|Cortisone, 25||Triamcinolone, 4|
|Hydrocortisone, 20||Paramethasone, 2|
|Prednisolone, 5||Betamethasone, 0.75|
|Prednisone, 5||Dexamethasone, 0.75|
These dose relationships apply only to oral or intravenous administration of these compounds. When these substances or their derivatives are injected intramuscularly or into joint spaces, their relative properties may be greatly altered.
In acute, self-limited allergic disorders or acute exacerbations of chronic allergic disorders, the following dosage schedule combining parenteral and oral therapy is suggested:
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate injection, USP 4 mg per mL:
1 or 2 mL, intramuscularly
DECADRON tablets, 0.75 mg:
4 tablets in two divided doses
4 tablets in two divided doses
2 tablets in two divided doses
This schedule is designed to ensure adequate therapy during acute episodes, while minimizing the risk of overdosage in chronic cases.
In cerebral edema, Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate injection, USP is generally administered initially in a dosage of 10 mg intravenously followed by 4 mg every six hours intramuscularly until the symptoms of cerebral edema subside. Response is usually noted within 12 to 24 hours and dosage may be reduced after two to four days and gradually discontinued over a period of five to seven days. For palliative management of patients with recurrent or inoperable brain tumors, maintenance therapy with either Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate injection, USP or DECADRON tablets in a dosage of 2 mg two or three times daily may be effective.
Dexamethasone Suppression Tests
- Tests for Cushing's syndrome Give 1.0 mg of DECADRON orally at 11:00 p.m. Blood is drawn for plasma cortisol determination at 8:00 a.m. the following morning.
For greater accuracy, give 0.5 mg of DECADRON orally every 6 hours for 48 hours. Twenty-four hour urine collections are made for determination of 17-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion.
- Test to distinguish Cushing's syndrome due to pituitary ACTH excess from Cushing's syndrome due to other causes.
Give 2.0 mg of DECADRON orally every 6 hours for 48 hours. Twenty-four hour urine collections are made for determination of 17-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion.
Dosage depends on the nature and severity of the disease and the individual response of the patient to treatment. In general, relatively high initial doses are administered, and they should be significantly higher in acute severe forms than in chronic diseases.
Unless otherwise prescribed, the following dosage recommendations apply:
- Cerebral oedema: Depending on the cause and severity, initial dose of 8-10 mg (up to 80 mg) i.v., followed by 16-24 mg (up to 48 mg)/day orally, divided into 3-4 (up to 6) individual doses for 4-8 days. A longer-term, lower-dose administration of Dexason Krka may be required during irradiation and in the conservative treatment of inoperable brain tumours.
- Cerebral oedema due to bacterial meningitis: 0.15 mg/kg body weight every 6 hours for 4 days, children: 0.4 mg/kg body weight every 12 hours for 2 days, starting before the first antibiotics.
- Severe acute asthma attack: Adults: 8-20 mg, then, if necessary, 8 mg every 4 hours. Children: 0.15-0.3 mg/kg body weight.
- Acute skin diseases: Depending on the nature and extent of the disease, daily doses of 8-40 mg. Followed by treatment with decreasing doses.
- Active phases of rheumatic systemic diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus 6-16 mg/day.
- Severely progressive form of active rheumatoid arthritis: in rapidly destructive forms 12-16 mg/day, in extra-articular manifestations 6-12 mg/day
- Severe infectious diseases, toxic states (e.g. tuberculosis, typhoid): 4-20 mg for a few days, only with concomitant anti-infective therapy.
- Palliative treatment of malignant tumours: initially 8-16 mg/day, in prolonged treatment 4-12 mg/day.
- Congenital adrenogenital syndrome in adulthood: 0.25-0.75 mg/day as a single dose. If necessary, addition of a mineralcorticoid (fludrocortisone). In cases of particular physical stress (e.g. trauma, surgery), intercurrent infections, etc., a 2- to 3-fold dose increase may be required and under extreme stress (e.g. birth) a 10-fold increase.
The tablets should not be split to adjust doses. If patients need a dose that cannot be provided by one or more tablets of 0.5mg, other appropriate formulations should be used.
Method of administration
The tablets should be taken during or after a meal. They should be swallowed whole, with a sufficient amount of liquid. The daily dose should be administered as a single dose in the morning, if possible (circadian therapy). In patients who require a high-dose therapy because of their disease, multiple daily dosing is often required to achieve maximum effect.
Depending on the underlying disease, clinical symptoms and response to therapy, the dose can be reduced at a faster or slower rate and the therapy stopped, or the patient is stabilised on a maintenance dose as low as possible and, if necessary, adrenal axis monitored. Basically, the dose and duration of treatment should be kept as high and long as necessary, but as low and short as possible. In principle, the dose should be reduced gradually.
In long-term therapy which is deemed necessary following initial treatment, patients should be switched to prednisone/prednisolone, because this leads to lower adrenal suppression.
In hypothyroidism or liver cirrhosis, low doses may be sufficient or a dose reduction may be necessary.
Systemic fungal infections (see WARNINGS, Fungal infections).
DECADRON tablets are contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any components of this product.
Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids is indicated in patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to any unusual stress before, during, and after the stressful situation.
Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, sodium and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.
Literature reports suggest an apparent association between use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.
Corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Adrenocortical insufficiency may result from too rapid withdrawal of corticosteroids and may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. If the patient is receiving steroids already, dosage may have to be increased.
Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.
Patients who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infection with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic) in any location of the body may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents. These infections may be mild to severe. W ith increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Corticosteroids may also mask some signs of current infection.
Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and therefore should not be used in the presence of such infections unless they are needed to control life-threatening drug reactions. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure (see DRUG INTERACTIONS, Amphotericin B Injection And Potassium-Depleting Agents).
Latent disease may be activated or there may be an exacerbation of intercurrent infections due to pathogens, including those caused by Amoeba, Candida, Cryptococcus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Pneumocystis, Toxoplasma.
It is recommended that latent amebiasis or active amebiasis be ruled out before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or any patient with unexplained diarrhea.
Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.
Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria.
The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.
If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.
Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered. However, the response to such vaccines cannot be predicted. Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy, e.g., for Addison’s disease.
Chickenpox and measles can have a more serious or even fatal course in pediatric and adult patients on corticosteroids. In pediatric and adult patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immune globulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for VZIG and IG for complete prescribing information.) If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents should be considered.
Use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The use of oral corticosteroids is not recommended in the treatment of optic neuritis and may lead to an increase in the risk of new episodes. Corticosteroids should not be used in active ocular herpes simplex.
The lowest possible dose of corticosteroids should be used to control the condition under treatment. W hen reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual.
Since complications of treatment with corticosteroids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.
Kaposi’s sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.
As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal insufficiency.
Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should be administered concurrently.
Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and nonspecific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of a perforation.
Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.
There is an enhanced effect due to decreased metabolism of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.
Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (i.e., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (e.g., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.
Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that they affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatinine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression, to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.
Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks, intraocular pressure should be monitored.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.
Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.
Pregnancy Category C.
Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.
Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from corticosteroids, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids, which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome (patients >2 years of age), and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias (patients >1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids, e.g., severe asthma and wheezing, are based on adequate and well-controlled trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.
The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.
Clinical studies did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. In particular, the increased risk of diabetes mellitus, fluid retention and hypertension in elderly patients treated with corticosteroids should be considered.
Depending on the dose and duration of therapy, adrenocortical insufficiency caused by glucocorticoid therapy can continue for several months and in individual cases more than a year after cessation of therapy. In cases of particular physical stress situations (trauma, surgery, childbirth, etc.) during treatment with Dexason Krka, a temporary increase in dose may be required. Because of the potential risk in stress situations, patients on extended therapy should be issued a steroid card. Also in prolonged adrenal insufficiency after cessation of treatment, the administration of glucocorticoids may be necessary in physical stress situations. In case of intended withdrawal, treatment-induced acute adrenal insufficiency may be minimized by slow dose reduction.
Through immunosuppression, treatment with Dexason Krka can lead to an increased risk of bacterial, viral, parasitic, opportunistic and fungal infections. It can mask the symptoms of an existing or developing infection, thereby making a diagnosis more difficult. Latent infections, like tuberculosis or hepatitis B, can be reactivated.
Treatment with Dexason Krka should only be implemented in the event of the strongest indications and, if necessary, additional targeted anti-infective treatment administered for the following illnesses:
- Acute viral infections (Herpes zoster, Herpes simplex, Varicella, herpetic keratitis)
- HBsAG-positive chronic active hepatitis
- Approximately 8 weeks prior to 2 weeks after vaccinations with live vaccines
- Systemic mycoses and parasitoses (e.g. nematodes)
- In patients with suspected or confirmed strongyloidiasis (infection with threadworms), glucocorticoids can lead to activation and mass proliferation of these parasites
- Lymphadenitis after BCG vaccination
- Acute and chronic bacterial infections
- In a history of tuberculosis (reactivation risk), use only under tuberculostatic protection
In addition, treatment with Dexason Krka should only be implemented under strong indications and, if necessary, additional specific treatment must be implemented for:
- Gastrointestinal ulcers
- Severe cardiac insufficiency
- High blood pressure that is difficult to regulate
- Diabetes mellitus that is difficult to regulate
- Psychiatric disorders (also in the past), including suicidality: neurological or psychiatric monitoring is recommended
- Narrow- and wide-angle glaucoma, ophthalmic monitoring and adjunctive therapy are recommended
- Corneal ulcerations and corneal injuries, ophthalmic monitoring and adjunctive therapy are recommended
Because of the risk of an intestinal perforation, Dexason Krka may only be used under urgent indication and under appropriate monitoring for:
- Severe ulcerative colitis with threatened perforation, possibly without peritoneal irritation
- Enteroenterostomy (immediately postoperatively)
Signs of peritoneal irritation after gastrointestinal perforation may be absent in patients receiving high doses of glucocorticoids.
The possibility of a higher need for insulin or oral antidiabetics must be taken into consideration when administering Dexason Krka to diabetics.
Regular blood pressure monitoring is necessary during treatment with Dexason Krka, particularly during administration of higher doses and in patients with high blood pressure that is difficult to regulate.
Because of the risk of deterioration, patients with severe cardiac insufficiency should be carefully monitored.
With high doses of Dexason bradycardia may occur.
Severe anaphylactic reactions may occur.
The risk of tendon disorders, tendinitis and tendon rupture is increased when fluoroquinolones and glucocorticoids are administered together.
A concurrent myasthenia gravis may initially worsen during treatment with Dexason Krka.
Vaccinations with inactivated vaccines are generally possible. However, it should be noted that the immune response and thus the vaccine may be compromised at higher doses of corticosteroids.
During long-term therapy with Dexason Krka, regular medical checkups (including ophthalmologic every three months) are indicated.
At high doses, sufficient calcium intake and sodium restriction should be ensured and serum potassium levels should be monitored.
Depending on the dose and duration of treatment, a negative effect on calcium metabolism can be expected; therefore, the prevention of osteoporosis is recommended. This applies especially to patients with concomitant risk factors, such as familial predisposition, advanced age, postmenopausal period, insufficient protein and calcium intake, heavy smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of physical activity. Prevention consists of sufficient calcium and vitamin D intake and physical activity. In already existing osteoporosis, additional drug therapy should be considered.
Upon termination of long-term administration of glucocorticoids, the following risks must be taken into account: exacerbation or relapse of the underlying disease, acute adrenal insufficiency, cortisone withdrawal syndrome.
Certain viral diseases (chickenpox, measles) may be very severe in patients treated with glucocorticoids. Immunocompromised patients without previous chickenpox or measles infection are particularly at risk. If these patients have contact with people infected with measles or chickenpox while undergoing treatment with Dexason Krka, a preventative treatment should be introduced, if necessary.
In post marketing experience tumour lysis syndrome (TLS) has been reported in patients with haematological malignancies following the use of Dexason alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents. Patient at high risk of TLS, such as patients with high proliferative rate, high tumour burden, and high sensitivity to cytotoxic agents, should be monitored closely and appropriate precaution taken.
Visual disturbance may be reported with systemic and topical corticosteroid use. If a patient presents with symptoms such as blurred vision or other visual disturbances, the patient should be considered for referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation of possible causes which may include cataract, glaucoma or rare diseases such as central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) which have been reported after use of systemic and topical corticosteroids.
In the growth phase of children, the benefit-risk balance of treatment with Dexason Krka should be carefully weighed.
Therapy should be of limited duration or in case of long-term therapy, it should be carried out alternatingly.
Preterm neonates: Available evidence suggests long-term neurodevelopmental adverse events after early treatment (< 96 hours) of premature infants with chronic lung disease at starting doses of 0.25mg/kg twice daily.
Because elderly patients are at an increased risk of osteoporosis, the benefit-risk balance of treatment with Dexason Krka should be carefully weighed.
The use of Dexason Krka can lead to positive results in doping controls.
Dexason Krka contains lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.
There have been no studies on the effects on the ability to drive and use machines.
The following adverse reactions have been reported with DECADRON or other corticosteroids:
Anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.
Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS, Cardio-Renal), edema, pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.
Acne, allergic dermatitis, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, erythema, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, striae, suppression of reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.
Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, hyperglycemia, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.
Fluid And Electrolyte Disturbances
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention, tumor lysis syndrome.
Abdominal distention, elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.
Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.
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.
Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.
Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.
Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, malaise, moon face, weight gain.
- Very common (> 1/10)
- Common (> 1/100 to < 1/10)
- Uncommon (> 1/1,000 to < 1/100)
- Rare (> 1/10,000 to < 1/1,000)
- Very rare (< 1/10,000)
- Not known (cannot be estimated from the available data)
Hormone replacement therapy:
Low risk of undesirable effects with the use of recommended doses.
The following undesirable effects may occur; they are highly dependent on the dose and duration of treatment, so their frequency cannot be specified:
Infections and infestations
Masking of infections, manifestation and exacerbation of viral infections, fungal infections, bacterial, parasitic and opportunistic infections, activation of strongyloidiasis.
Blood and lymphatic system disorders
Moderate leukocytosis, lymphocytopenia, eosinopenia, polycythemia.
Immune system disorders
Hypersensitivity reactions (e.g. drug eruption), severe anaphylactic reactions, such as arrhythmias, bronchospasm, hypo- or hypertension, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest, weakening of the immune system.
Adrenal suppression and induction of Cushing's syndrome (typical symptoms: moon face, central obesity and plethora).
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Sodium retention with oedema, increased potassium excretion (risk of arrhythmias), weight gain, reduced glucose tolerance, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia, increased appetite.
Depression, irritability, euphoria, increased drive, psychoses, mania, hallucinations, emotional lability, anxiety, sleep disorders, suicidality.
Nervous system disorders
Pseudotumor cerebri, manifestation of latent epilepsy, increase in seizure susceptibility in manifest epilepsy.
Hypertension, increased risk of atherosclerosis and thrombosis, vasculitis (also as withdrawal syndrome after long-term therapy), increased capillary fragility.
Gastrointestinal ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, pancreatitis, stomach discomfort.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Striae rubra, atrophy, telangiectasias, petechiae, ecchymosis, hypertrichosis, steroid acne, rosacea-like (perioral) dermatitis, changes in skin pigmentation.
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
Myopathy, muscle atrophy and weakness, osteoporosis (dose-dependent, possible also in short-term administration), aseptic bone necrosis, tendon disorders, tendinitis, tendon rupture, epidural lipomatosis, growth inhibition in children.
Too rapid dose reduction after long-term treatment may cause symptoms such as muscle and joint pain.
Reproductive system and breast disorders
Disorders of sexual hormone secretion (consequently: irregular menstruation up to amenorrhea, hirsutism, impotence).
General disorders and administration site conditions
Delayed wound healing.
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
Treatment of overdosage is by supportive and symptomatic therapy. In the case of acute overdosage, according to the patient’s condition, supportive therapy may include gastric lavage or emesis.
Acute intoxications with Dexason are not known. In case of chronic overdosing, an increase in undesirable effects, especially endocrine, metabolic and electrolyte-related effects, can be expected.
There is no known antidote to Dexason.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: corticosteroids for systemic use, glucocorticoids, ATC code: H02AB02.
Mechanism of action
Dexason is a mono-fluorinated glucocorticoid with pronounced anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and membrane-stabilizing properties and effects on carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism.
Dexason has an approximately 7.5 times greater glucocorticoid effect than prednisolone, and compared to hydrocortisone it is 30 times more effective, lacking mineralocorticoid effects.
Glucocorticoids, such as Dexason, exert their biological effects by activating the transcription of corticosteroid-sensitive genes. The anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive and anti-proliferative effects are caused by decreased formation, release and activity of inflammatory mediators, by the inhibition of specific functions and the migration of inflammatory cells. In addition, the effect of sensitized T lymphocytes and macrophages on target cells may be prevented by corticosteroids.
When long-term corticoid treatment is required, the possibility of induction of transient adrenal insufficiency must be considered. The suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis also depends on individual factors.
Absorption and distribution
After oral administration, Dexason is rapidly and almost completely absorbed in the stomach and small intestine. Its bioavailability is 80-90%. Maximum blood levels are reached between 60 and 120 minutes. The binding of Dexason to plasma albumins is dose-dependent. At very high doses, the largest portion circulates freely in the blood. In hypoalbuminaemia the proportion of the unbound (active) corticoid rises.
The average (serum) elimination half-life of Dexason in adults is 250 minutes (+ 80 minutes). Due to its long biological half-life of more than 36 hours, daily continuous administration of Dexason can lead to accumulation and overdosing.
The elimination is largely renal in the form of free Dexason alcohol. Dexason is partly metabolised, the metabolites are excreted as glucuronates or sulfates, also mainly by the kidneys.
Renal and hepatic impairment
Renal function impairment has no relevant effect on the clearance of Dexason. However, the elimination half-life is prolonged in severe liver disease.
In mice and rats, the LD50 for Dexason after a single oral dose is 16 g/kg body and over 3 g/kg body weight, respectively, within the first 7 days. Following a single subcutaneous dose, the LD50 in mice is more than 700 mg/kg body weight and in rats about 120 mg/kg body weight, within the first 7 days.
Over a period of 21 days, these values become lower, which is interpreted as a consequence of serious infectious diseases caused by the hormone-induced immunosuppression.
There are no data on chronic toxicity in humans and animals. Corticoid-induced intoxications are not known. In longer-term treatment with doses above 1.5 mg/day, pronounced undesirable effects can be expected.
Mutagenic and tumorigenic potential:
The available study findings for glucocorticoids show no evidence of clinically relevant genotoxic properties.
In animal studies, cleft palate was observed in rats, mice, hamsters, rabbits, dogs and primates; not in horses and sheep. In some cases these divergences were combined with defects of the central nervous system and of the heart. In primates, effects in the brain were seen after exposure. Moreover, intrauterine growth can be delayed. All these effects were seen at high dosages.
No special requirements for disposal.
However, we will provide data for each active ingredient