Data from FDA - Curated by Toby Galbraith - Last updated 12 July 2017

Indication(s)

INDICATIONS AND USAGE By intravenous or intramuscular injection when oral therapy is not feasible: 1. Endocrine Disorders Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance). Acute adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; mineralocorticoid supplementation may be necessary, particularly when synthetic analogs are used). Preoperatively, and in the event of serious trauma or illness, in patients with known adrenal insufficiency or when adrenocortical reserve is doubtful. Shock unresponsive to conventional therapy if adrenocortical insufficiency exists or is suspected. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia Nonsuppurative thyroiditis Hypercalcemia associated with cancer 2. Rheumatic Disorders As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in: Post-traumatic osteoarthritis Synovitis of osteoarthritis Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). Acute and subacute bursitis Epicondylitis Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis Acute gouty arthritis Psoriatic arthritis Ankylosing spondylitis 3. Collagen Diseases During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of: Systemic lupus erythematosus Acute rheumatic carditis 4. Dermatologic Diseases Pemphigus Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome) Exfoliative dermatitis Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis Severe seborrheic dermatitis Severe psoriasis Mycosis fungoides 5. Allergic States Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in: Bronchial asthma Contact dermatitis Atopic dermatitis Serum sickness Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis Drug hypersensitivity reactions Urticarial transfusion reactions Acute noninfectious laryngeal edema (epinephrine is the drug of first choice). 6. Ophthalmic Diseases Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye, such as: Herpes zoster ophthalmicus Iritis, iridocyclitis Chorioretinitis Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis Optic neuritis Sympathetic ophthalmia Anterior segment inflammation Allergic conjunctivitis Keratitis Allergic corneal marginal ulcers 7. Gastrointestinal Diseases To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in: Ulcerative colitis (systemic therapy) Regional enteritis (systemic therapy) 8. Respiratory Diseases Symptomatic sarcoidosis Berylliosis Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy. Loeffler’s syndrome not manageable by other means. Aspiration pneumonitis 9. Hematologic Disorders Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults (IV only; IM administration is contraindicated). Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia) Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia 10. Neoplastic Diseases For palliative management of: Leukemias and lymphomas in adults Acute leukemia of childhood 11. Edematous States To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus. 12. Miscellaneous Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy. Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement. 13. Diagnostic testing of adrenocortical hyperfunction. 14. Cerebral Edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, craniotomy, or head injury. Use in cerebral edema is not a substitute for careful neurosurgical evaluation and definitive management such as neurosurgery or other specific therapy.

Learning Zones

An epgonline.org Learning Zone (LZ) is an area of the site dedicated to providing detailed self-directed medical education about a disease, condition or procedure.

Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU)

Use our patient case studies to discover how experts diagnose and treat chronic spontaneous urticaria

Visit Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU)


Oral Anticoagulation Reversal

Experts discuss the use of non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants in the treatment and prevention of stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in atrial fibrillation patients

Visit Oral Anticoagulation Reversal


Related Content

Advisory information

contraindications
CONTRAINDICATIONS Systemic fungal infections (see WARNINGS regarding amphotericin B). Hypersensitivity to any component of this product (see WARNINGS ) .
Special warnings and precautions
PRECAUTIONS This product, like many other steroid formulations, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to sterilize the exterior of the vial. Following prolonged therapy, withdrawal of corticosteroids may result in symptoms of the corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome including fever, myalgia, arthralgia, and malaise. This may occur in patients even without evidence of adrenal insufficiency. There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids in patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis. Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex for fear of corneal perforation. The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction must be gradual. Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids. Aspirin should be used within caution in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia. Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess, or other pyogenic infection, also in diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, active or latent peptic ulcer, renal insufficiency, hypertension, osteoporosis, and myasthenia gravis. Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving large doses of corticosteroids may be minimal or absent. Fat embolism has been reported as a possible complication of hypercortisonism. When large doses are given, some authorities advise that antacids be administered between meals to help prevent peptic ulcer. Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients. Phenytoin, phenobarbital, ephedrine, and rifampin may enhance the metabolic clearance of corticosteroids resulting in decreased blood levels and lessened physiologic activity, thus requiring adjustment in corticosteroid dosage. These interactions may interfere with dexamethasone suppression tests which should be interpreted with caution during administration of these drugs. False negative results in the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) in patients being treated with indomethacin have been reported. Thus, results of the DST should be interpreted with caution in these patients. The prothrombin time should be checked frequently in patients who are receiving corticosteroids and coumarin anticoagulants at the same time because of reports that corticosteroids have altered the response to these anticoagulants. Studies have shown that the usual effect produced by adding corticosteroids is inhibition of response to coumarins, although there have been some conflicting reports of potentiation not substantiated by studies. When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting diuretics, patients should be observed closely for development of hypokalemia. The slower rate of absorption by intramuscular administration should be recognized. Information for Patients Susceptible patients who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles. Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay. Pediatric Use Growth and development of infants and children patients on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should be carefully followed.
Adverse reactions
ADVERSE REACTIONS Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Sodium retention Fluid retention Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients Potassium loss Hypokalemic alkalosis Hypertension Musculoskeletal: Muscle weakness Steroid myopathy Loss of muscle mass Osteoporosis Vertebral compression fractures Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads Tendon rupture Pathologic fracture of long bones Gastrointestinal: Peptic ulcer with possible subsequent perforation and hemorrhage Perforation of the small and large bowel; particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease Pancreatitis Abdominal distention Ulcerative esophagitis Dermatologic: Impaired wound healing Thin fragile skin Petechiae and ecchymoses Erythema Increased sweating May suppress reactions to skin tests Burning or tingling, especially in the perineal area (after IV injection) Other cutaneous reactions, such as allergic dermatitis, urticaria, angioneurotic edema Neurologic: Convulsions Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually after treatment Vertigo Headache Psychic disturbances Endocrine: Menstrual irregularities Development of cushingoid state Suppression of growth in pediatric patients Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness Decreased carbohydrate tolerance Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus Increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics Hirsutism Ophthalmic: Posterior subcapsular cataracts Increased intraocular pressure Glaucoma Exophthalmos Retinopathy of prematurity Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism Cardiovascular: Myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS ) Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in low birth weight infants Other: Anaphylactoid or hypersensitivity reactions Thromboembolism Weight gain Increased appetite Nausea Malaise Hiccups The following additional adverse reactions are related to parenteral corticosteroid therapy: Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation Subcutaneous and cutaneous atrophy Sterile abscess Charcot-like arthropathy

Usage information

Dosing and administration
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection, 10 mg/mL– For intravenous and intramuscular injection only. Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection can be given directly from the vial, or it can be added to Sodium Chloride Injection or Dextrose Injection and administered by intravenous drip. Solutions used for intravenous administration or further dilution of this product should be preservative free when used in the neonate, especially the premature infant. When it is mixed with an infusion solution, sterile precautions should be observed. Since infusion solutions generally do not contain preservatives, mixtures should be used within 24 hours. DOSAGE REQUIREMENTS ARE VARIABLE AND MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE DISEASE AND THE RESPONSE OF THE PATIENT. Intravenous and Intramuscular Injection The initial dosage of dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection varies from 0.5 to 9 mg a day depending on the disease being treated. In less severe diseases doses lower than 0.5 mg may suffice, while in severe diseases doses higher than 9 mg may be required. The initial dosage should be maintained or adjusted until the patient’s response is satisfactory. If a satisfactory clinical response does not occur after a reasonable period of time, discontinue dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection and transfer the patient to other therapy. After a favorable initial response, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial dosage in small amounts to the lowest dosage that maintains an adequate clinical response. Patients should be observed closely for signs that might require dosage adjustment, including changes in clinical status resulting from remissions or exacerbations of the disease, individual drug responsiveness, and the effect of stress (e.g., surgery, infection, trauma). During stress it may be necessary to increase dosage temporarily. If the drug is to be stopped after more than a few days of treatment, it usually should be withdrawn gradually. When the intravenous route of administration is used, dosage usually should be the same as the oral dosage. In certain overwhelming, acute, life-threatening situations, however, administration in dosages exceeding the usual dosages may be justified and may be in multiples of the oral dosages. The slower rate of absorption by intramuscular administration should be recognized. Shock There is a tendency in current medical practice to use high (pharmacologic) doses of corticosteroids for the treatment of unresponsive shock. The following dosages of dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection have been suggested by various authors: Author Dosage Cavanagh1 3 mg/kg of body weight per 24 hours by constant intravenous infusion after an initial intravenous injection of 20 mg Dietzman2 2 to 6 mg/kg of body weight as a single intravenous injection Frank3 40 mg initially followed by repeat intravenous injection every 4 to 6 hours while shock persists Oaks4 40 mg initially followed by repeat intravenous injection every 2 to 6 hours while shock persists Schumer5 1 mg/kg of body weight as a single intravenous injection Administration of high dose corticosteroid therapy should be continued only until the patient’s condition has stabilized and usually not longer than 48 to 72 hours. Although adverse reactions associated with high dose, short term corticosteroid therapy are uncommon, peptic ulceration may occur. Cerebral Edema Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection is generally administered initially in a dosage of 10 mg intravenously followed by four mg every six hours intramuscularly until the symptoms of cerebral edema subside. Response is usually noted within 12 to 24 hours and dosage may be reduced after two to four days and gradually discontinued over a period of five to seven days. For palliative management of patients with recurrent or inoperable brain tumors, maintenance therapy with 2 mg two or three times a day may be effective. Acute Allergic Disorders In acute, self-limited allergic disorders or acute exacerbations of chronic allergic disorders, the following dosage schedule combining parenteral and oral therapy is suggested: Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection, first day , 4 or 8 mg intramuscularly. Dexamethasone tablets, 0.75 mg: second and third days, 4 tablets in two divided doses each day; fourth day , 2 tablets in two divided doses; fifth and sixth days, 1 tablet each day; seventh day, no treatment; eighth day, follow-up visit. This schedule is designed to ensure adequate therapy during acute episodes, while minimizing the risk of overdosage in chronic cases. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever the solution and container permit.
Pregnancy and lactation
Nursing Mothers: Bupivacaine has been reported to be excreted in human milk suggesting that the nursing infant could be theoretically exposed to a dose of the drug. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from bupivacaine, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or not administer bupivacaine, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Interactions

Clinically Significant Drug Interactions: The administration of local anesthetic solutions containing epinephrine or norepinephrine to patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants may produce severe, prolonged hypertension. Concurrent use of these agents should generally be avoided. In situations when concurrent therapy is necessary, careful patient monitoring is essential. Concurrent administration of vasopressor drugs and of ergot-type oxytocic drugs may cause severe, persistent hypertension or cerebrovascular accidents. Phenothiazines and butyrophenones may reduce or reverse the pressor effect of epinephrine.

More information

Category Value
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 76420-810
Date Last Revised 02-06-2017
Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
List of excipients Inactive Ingredients Inactive ingredients: nonoxynol-9, water
Storage and handling Other information Protect from freezing and avoid excessive heat
Marketing authorisation holder Asclemed USA, Inc.