dexamethasone injection (Baycadron, Decadron [Discontinued], Dexamethasone Intensol) (cont.)

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PREGNANCY: Category C; animal reproduction studies show adverse events with corticosteroid use. Dexamethasone has the potential to cross the placenta to affect fetal growth. Lowest effective doses should be used for the shortest duration of time, with avoidance of dosing in the first trimester to help avoid oral clefts. Low adrenal function may also develop in newborns if corticosteroid exposure occurs while in the womb.

NURSING MOTHERS: Corticosteroids are excreted in breast milk, and, therefore should be used cautiously by nursing mothers. If dexamethasone is absolutely needed and breastfeeding cannot be stopped, a separation of 4 hours between therapy and breastfeeding is recommended to decrease exposure of the infant to the corticosteroid.

SIDE EFFECTS: Glucocorticoids are associated with a variety of side effects based on dose and duration of therapy. Dexamethasone may commonly cause an increase in blood sugar, appetite, insomnia, acne, and nervousness or emotional instability (depression or euphoria). It may also cause impaired wound healing, high blood pressure, raised pressure in the eye, and cataracts. Serious side effects include risk of cardiomyopathy, induced diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and conjunctival hemorrhage.

REFERENCE: Dexamethasone FDA Prescribing Information.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2014

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