Treats inflammation, severe allergies, flare-ups of ongoing illnesses, and many other medical problems. May also be used to decrease some symptoms of cancer. This medicine is a corticosteroid (cortisone-like medicine or steroid).
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
How to Use This Medicine
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine may be given through a needle placed in one of your veins or as a shot into a muscle.
- A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
- Your doctor may give you a few doses of this medicine until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any concerns about this, talk to your doctor.
If a dose is missed:
- You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using aminoglutethimide (Cytadren®), amphotericin B (Fungizone®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cholestyramine (Questran®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), isoniazid (Nydrazid®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), pancuronium (Pavulon®), phenobarbital (Luminol®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or certain antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, Biaxin®, Ery-tab®, or Zithromax®).
- Tell your doctor if you are also using a diuretic or "water pill," a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), pain or arthritis medicine (NSAIDs such as aspirin, celecoxib, ibuprofen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, or Motrin®), insulin or diabetes medicine that you take by mouth (such as glyburide, metformin, Actos®, Amaryl®, Avandia®, Glucotrol®, or Glucovance®), or estrogen (including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy).
- This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have recently spent time in a tropical climate.
- Make sure your doctor knows about all other health problems you have, including kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, or stomach or bowel problems. Tell your doctor if you have adrenal gland problems (such as Cushing syndrome), nerve or muscle disease (such as myasthenia gravis), thyroid problems, or a recent heart attack.
- If this medicine is being injected into a joint, make sure your doctor knows about any other problems you have had with that joint.
- Tell your doctor right away if you have a fever or other signs of an infection such as chills, sore throat, or pain. This medicine could cause you to get infections more easily. If you are exposed to chicken pox or measles, tell your doctor right away. Avoid people who are sick, and wash your hands often.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you already have an infection, such as herpes eye infection, tuberculosis, or threadworm (Strongyloides). Tell your doctor if you have diarrhea or if you get infections often.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
- This medicine may cause mood or behavior changes. Talk with your doctor if you feel unusually happy or sad, have trouble sleeping, have mood swings, or start to have unusual behavior.
- If you use this medicine for a long time, tell your doctor about any extra stress or anxiety in your life, including other health concerns and emotional stress. Your dose might need to be changed for a short time while you have extra stress.
- Tell your doctor if you have any bone pain or if you have an increased risk for osteoporosis (weak bones). If your child is using this medicine, tell the doctor if you think your child is not growing properly. This medicine might affect the bones, so it could cause slow growth in children or osteoporosis in anyone if it is used for a long time.
- Check with your doctor right away if you have blurred vision, trouble seeing, eye pain, or any other changes in vision. You may need to be checked by an eye doctor.
- Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
- Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blurred vision, eye pain, changes in vision
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting
- Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
- Mood swings, unusual thoughts or behavior
- Muscle pain, weakness, or cramps, sudden joint pain
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Color changes on the skin, dark freckles
- Easy bruising
- Increased thirst or urination
- Red, pink, purple, or brown flat spots or bumps on your skin
- Round, puffy face
- Skin looks sunken or indented where the shot was given
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
- Last reviewed on 4/8/2016
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