Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection
This drug is a hormone related to cortisone and is used in dogs and cats to treat a variety of conditions. Dexamethasone is available in tablets and as an injectable.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- A potent corticosteroid
- Given by mouth or injection
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- To treat certain inflammatory diseases
- To treat certain immune-mediated diseases
- To aid in the treatment of certain cancers
- To aid in the treatment of Addison's disease
WHAT DOGS/CATS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Animals with stomach ulcers
- Animals with liver or kidney disease
- Animals with diabetes or Cushing's disease
- Animals with certain heart disease or high blood pressure
- Animals with infectious diseases
- Animals that will require surgery in the near future
- Animals that will require allergic skin testing in the near future
- Animals that may be pregnant or nursing
- Animals that are pediatric
- Animals with a known hypersensitivity or allergy to this drug should not take this medication
Read and follow the prescription label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.
This medication is often given with food to reduce the potential for stomach upset. Due to the side effects of this medication, always ensure that your pet has access to fresh water and is allowed to urinate more frequently.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.
Baseline blood work is recommended to assess your pet's general health before starting this drug.
Periodic blood work to monitor its effects on the body is also advised if long-term therapy is necessary.
Dose adjustments may be made based upon these results and an assessment of how your dog or cat is responding clinically.
Call ahead for refills.
Ideally, give this medication at the same time(s) daily.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Dexamethasone should be stored in a childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Side effects are usually dose dependent
- This medication can affect the gastrointestinal system causing vomiting and diarrhea. These side effects may be reduced by giving this medication with food
- This medication can cause an increase in appetite, thirst and urination
- This medication can cause weight gain, panting, dull hair coat, muscle wasting, and behavior changes
- This medication can affect the immune system at high doses causing an increased susceptibility to infections and delayed wound healing
- This medication can cause the development of diabetes or Cushing's disease when given long term
- If these symptoms persist or you notice anything else unusual, contact your veterinarian
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur when giving dexamethasone in conjunction with: amphotericin B, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, digoxin, estrogens, erythromycin, furosemide, insulin, mitotane, neostigmine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (ex. acetaminophen, deracoxib, carprofen, ibuprofen, meloxicam), phenobarbital, phenytoin, pyridostigmine, rifampin, and certain vaccines
- Drugs other than those listed may also interact with dexamethasone
- Do not give new food or medications without first talking to your veterinarian
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet receives more than the prescribed amount.
WHAT TO TELL/ASK A VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When your pet will need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- What are the risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet's medications can be given together.
- If your pet is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
As with all prescribed medicines, dexamethasone should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed.
It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about dexamethasone. If you have any questions or concerns about dexamethasone or the condition it was prescribed for, please contact your veterinarian.
Join the Conversation
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!