Corticosteroids (By mouth)

Introduction

Treat asthma, serious skin disorders, arthritis, and other conditions.

Brand Name(s)

PredniSONE Intensol, Cortef, Entocort EC, Orapred, Medrol, Dexpak, Celestone, DexPak, DexPak 6 Day TaperPak, DexPak 10 Day TaperPak, DexPak 13 Day TaperPak, Dexamethasone Intensol, Baycadron Elixir, Prednicot, Sterapred DS

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an unusual or allergic reaction to any cortisone drugs such as hydrocortisone, prednisone, dexamethasone, or triamcinolone.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Long Acting Capsule, Delayed Release Capsule, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you take the medicine once or several times a day, take the missed dose as soon as possible unless it is almost time for the next dose. If it is almost time for your next regular dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. You should not use two doses at the same time.
  • If you take the medicine every other day, take the missed dose that same morning. If you remember the missed dose later in the day, skip the missed dose and take the dose the next morning and then go back to your regular schedule.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. You might need to store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • It is best not to drink alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using aspirin, arthritis medicine, a diuretic ("water pill") such as hydrochlorothiazide, estrogens (Premarin® or birth control pills), Dilantin®, or phenobarbital.
  • Immunizations or vaccines might not work as well while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Check with your doctor if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, AIDS, glaucoma, kidney disease, liver disease, stomach ulcers, tuberculosis, or herpes infection or any other type of viral or bacterial infection before you use any corticosteroid.
  • Before you have any surgery, make sure your doctor or dentist knows that you are using this medicine.
  • If you have diabetes, corticosteroids may increase your blood sugar level.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Unexplained fever or sore throat
  • Pain when going to the bathroom (urinating)
  • Muscle aches
  • Hallucinations, sudden mood changes
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Blurred vision, eye pain

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness or trouble sleeping
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Increased hair growth
  • Acne or thin skin
  • Changes in your menstrual periods
  • Fluid retention (swollen feet or ankles), weight gain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
Average rating (1)