What is Dexamethasone?
Dexamethasone is a drug which is also known as a corticosteroid. This type of drug is derived from hormones present in the body like cortisol and aldosterone. This drug is said to have anti-inflammatory properties and has an effect on the number of white blood cells circulating in the blood.
Dexamethasone helps decrease inflammation by preventing the release of some chemicals involved with the body’s immune responses. Allergic responses may also be reduced with the action of this drug. Some conditions in which dexamethasone may be indicated are asthma, contact dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and serum sickness.
Dexamethasone may also be used by people with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This pertains to a disorder in the adrenal glands and result to abnormal hormone levels. For people with brain tumors, dexamethasone’s anti-inflammatory effects may also be put to good use to reduce the swelling.
Aside from adrenal hyperplasia, several endocrine disorders may also be treated by this drug. One such disorder is primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency. In this condition, dexamethasone may be prescribed along with synthetic mineralocorticoids. The drug is also effective in the treatment of hypercalcemia secondary to cancer and in the non-suppurative type of thyroiditis.
Various other disorders and illnesses may be treated with dexamethasone. Rheumatic illnesses such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus among others may be treated with this drug. Hepatitis, sarcoidosis, hemolytic anemia, aspiration pneumonitis, polyarteritis nodosa, neuritis, lymphoma, myeloma, multiple sclerosis, and leukemia and many other conditions are also managed with dexamethasone.
Care must be taken though when taking corticosteroids such as dexamethasone. Proper schedule of taking the drugs must be followed with constant consultation with doctors for monitoring of its effectiveness. And as with other drugs, the use of dexamethasone or corticosteroids may also cause some side effects and may have interactions with other drugs.