What are the side effects of dexamethasone?

Dexamethasone (Decadron®) is one of a group of medications called corticosteroids. This group of medications has a set of side effects that together are known as Cushing’s syndrome. The common side effects include weight gain, increased appetite, bloating, filling of the face (called moon face) and filling of the abdominal area. These side effects appear if dexamethasone is used for longer than a few days. Dexamethasone can also cause irritability, and if used longer it can affect muscles and bones.

Dexamethasone is used to treat a variety of problems. In each case, the benefits of treatment have to be balanced with the burdens and side effects. This is done by looking at the overall picture of what’s happening with the patient. The health care team can help you understand all the different factors that are being considered in this situation.