Dexamethasone is a synthetic glucocorticoid which decreases inflammation by inhibiting the migration of leukocytes and reversal of increased capillary permeability. It suppresses normal immune response.
Inflammatory joint diseases:
Adult: 0.8-4 mg depending on the size of the affected joint. For soft-tissue inj, 2-6 mg may be used. May repeat inj every 3-5 days to every 2-3 wk.
Prophylaxis of nausea and vomiting associated with cytotoxic therapy:
Adult: Prevention: 10-20 mg 15-30 minutes before admin of chemotherapy on each treatment day. For continuous infusion regimen: 10 mg every 12 hr on each treatment day. For midly emetogenic regimen: 4 mg every 4-6 hr.
Adult: As phosphate: Initially, 40 mg or 1-6 mg/kg as a single IV inj, may repeat every 2-6 hr. Continue high-dose treatment only until patient’s condition has stabilised and not to be continued beyond 48-72 hr.
Adult: 0.15 mg/kg 4 times daily, to be given 10-20 min before or with the 1st dose of anti-infective treatment. Treatment should be given for the first 2-4 days of the anti-infective treatment.
Child: As phosphate: 2 mth-18 yr: 150 mcg/kg every 6 hr for 4 days, starting before or with 1st dose of antibacterial treatment.
Cerebral oedema caused by malignancy:
Adult: As phosphate: 10 mg IV followed by 4 mg IM every 6 hr until response is achieved, usually after 12-24 hr. May reduce dosage after 2-4 days then gradually discontinued over 5-7 days. In severe cases, an initial dose of 50 mg IV may be given on day 1, with 8 mg every 2 hr, reduced gradually over 7-13 days. Maintenance dose: 2 mg 2-3 times daily.
Child: As phosphate: 35 kg: Initially 25 mg, then 4 mg every 2 hr for 3 days, then 4 mg every 4 hr for 1 day, then 4 mg every 6 hr for 4 days, then decrease by 2 mg daily. Doses are given via IV inj.
Adult: 0.75-9 mg daily in 2-4 divided doses; may also be given via IM/IV admin.
Child: 1 mth-18 yr: 10-100 mcg/kg daily in 1-2 divided doses via oral admin, adjusted according to response; up to 300 micrograms/kg daily may be used in emergency situations.
Screening test for Cushing’s syndrome:
Adult: 0.5 mg every 6 hr for 48 hr after determining baseline 24-hr urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroid (17-OHCS) concentrations. During the second 24 hr of dexamethasone admin, urine is collected and analysed for 17-OHCS. Alternatively, after a baseline plasma cortisol determination, 1 mg may be given at 11 pm and plasma cortisol determined at 8 am the next morning. Plasma cortisol and urinary output of 17-OHCS are depressed after dexamethasone admin in normal individuals but remain at basal levels in patients with Cushing’s syndrome.
Acute exacerbations in multiple sclerosis:
Adult: 30 mg daily for 1 wk followed by 4-12 mg daily for 1 mth.
Child: 1 mth-12 yr: 100-400 mcg/kg daily in 1-2 divided doses; 12-18 yr: Initially 0.5-24 mg daily. Max. 24 mg daily.