Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Decmax (dexamethasone) is a glucocorticosteroid used to inhibit immune response, reduce inflammation, inhibit nausea and vomiting, and stimulate appetite. When inhibiting immune response or reducing inflammation, the associated pain, heat, itching, and other discomforts are also prevented or alleviated.
Decmax may be used, on its own or with other medications, to help:
While a highly beneficial medication, Decmax is a potent steroid that should not be used frivolously. Long term use in particular can produce serious, even permanent, side effects, especially in children.
Decmax comes in tablets. Dosage ranges from 0.5 mg to 9 mg, though 2 mg or 4 mg are the most widely used. Dosage is typically just once per day, usually in the morning.
While frequency of administration is usually once per day, Decmax is sometimes taken every other day or more infrequently; this is particularly common in children who need long term treatment and in cancer patients. In all cases tablets are best taken with food and a glass of fluid.
Dosage varies by the condition being treated, as well as other factors like age, weight, other medical conditions, other medications being taken, and so forth. For best results a doctor who can take into account all these variables should determine dosage.
Duration of treatment also varies. Patients treating allergic or inflammatory conditions often take Decmax for one to three weeks. Those treating immune disorders may take it much longer, and those on chemotherapy may take it every month for the duration of chemotherapy. Again a doctor is best suited to determine duration of treatment, and patients taking the medication for more than a couple of weeks are strongly encouraged to attend all doctor checkups to monitor for developing side effects.
If Decmax has been taken for more than a few consecutive days, treatment should not end abruptly. In most cases dosage will be gradually reduced over one or more weeks. A doctor can help come up with a discontinuation plan.
Use During Pregnancy
Use of Decmax during pregnancy is somewhat controversial. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss risks with a doctor prior to use.
Decmax is sometimes given to women at risk of premature birth to help fetal lungs mature. Fetuses treated with Decmax may have low birth weight, but there is no increase in deaths.
More controversially, pregnant women are sometimes given Decmax to help alleviate symptoms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a condition which can cause an assortment of birth defects. While Decmax can alleviate the symptoms, it does not address the underlying problem and some studies have found defects after birth in a substantial portion of fetuses treated.
All patients taking Decmax should be aware that, as a steroid, the medication will inhibit immune system response. This makes patients more vulnerable to all types of illness and infections, which patients should be alert for and address quickly. Prompt medical attention is called for if the condition worsens. Treatment with Decmax may need to be stopped until the illness or infection is healed.
Fairly common side effects associated with Decmax include:
Most of the above are not cause for concern unless they become severe, with the possible exception of blood sugar increases, which can be problem for those with diabetes.
Those taking Decmax long term may experience more serious side effects, which call for medical attention:
Decmax should be used with care if taking other medications. Be sure the prescribing doctor is aware of all other medications being taken, and double-check with a doctor or pharmacist before adding any new medications, even over-the-counter varieties.