Features of the appointment of dexamethasone in the treatment of asthma: indications and contraindications

Bronchial asthma is a serious illness that cannot be completely cured. Patients with this disease are forced to adhere to the doctor’s preventive recommendations throughout their lives. They also need to take medication to prevent exacerbations.

Dexamethasone for asthma is one of the most popular medicines. It contributes to the rapid relief of symptoms, which ensures the onset of improvement. This drug is one of the potent ones, therefore, for dexamethasone therapy, a doctor’s appointment and adherence to his instructions are necessary.

In addition, the medicine is intended to eliminate the symptoms of pathology and almost does not affect the causes of the disease. Therefore, it cannot be considered the main therapeutic agent.

Glucocorticoids for bronchial asthma

For asthma, drugs from the glucocorticoid group are often used. They have an anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effect in a short time, which is very important in this disease. Glucocorticoids activate the excretion of mucus, which increases the lumen of the bronchi and facilitates the breathing process.

These drugs are systemic and inhaled. Use of such funds should be careful, as they are intense and cause side effects. Therefore, the use of drugs of this type is carried out only according to the instructions.

Despite a certain danger, reviews on the use of dexamethasone for asthma are usually positive, which means that the drug is highly effective.

Pharmacological group and action of dexamethasone

The use of dexamethasone in the treatment of bronchial asthma is due to its properties. This drug belongs to the hormonal and has an intense effect on the body. Drug action:

  • anti-inflammatory;
  • antihistamine;
  • immunosuppressive;
  • antitoxic;
  • anti-shock.

Dexamethasone is part of eye drops that relieve inflammation, eliminate allergic manifestations and have an anti-exudative effect. Due to these properties, the drug can be useful for many diseases.

The substance dexamethasone is a synthetic hormone similar to that produced by the adrenal glands. It forms relationships with cytoplasmic receptors, during which special complexes are formed. Once in the nuclei of cells, these complexes cause the production of RNA.

Under its influence, the body carries out the biosynthesis of proteins, which suppress the activity of enzymes involved in the development of inflammation. This helps to eliminate allergic symptoms and pain, and reduces the intensity of the inflammatory process. Due to this, dexamethasones fight asthma attacks and relieve symptoms of other pathologies of the bronchial tract.

The substance is absorbed by the body completely within 1-2 hours after ingestion. This increases its efficiency. It lasts more than two days.

The drug affects the central nervous system, which is achieved by entering the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. This allows him to quickly provide a healing effect.

Dexamethasone breakdown occurs in the same cells in which the substance provided the necessary assistance. It is excreted by the kidneys, and metabolic processes are carried out in the liver.

In AD, such properties of the drug as slowing down the inflammatory process, reducing edema in the airways, and relieving irritation of the mucous membranes are useful. It is also valuable that dexamethasone weakens secretory activity and promotes mucus excretion.

When taken, the production of allergy mediators stops and the number of basophils decreases. This is very important for asthmatics, whose disease is of an allergic nature.

Dosage forms of drugs with dexamethasone

Dexamethasone drugs are used not only for asthma. They are suitable for the treatment of many diseases. The form of the drug is chosen depending on what pathology is planned to be treated. Each dosage form has its own composition and certain characteristics, which determine the characteristics of the action.

Dexamethasone is found in the following release forms:

  • Ampoules with injection solution. Such preparations contain 4 mg of active ingredient and additional components. Among them may be:
  1. phosphate compounds;
  2. glycerol;
  3. propylene glycol;
  4. edetate disodium ;
  5. water.

Injection of the drug can cause severe side effects, so this procedure is carried out only in a medical institution and as directed by a doctor. This allows the specialist to notice the difficulties encountered in time and adjust the dosage of the medicine. In some cases, it is necessary to select analog drugs.

Dexamethasone in this form is often added to solutions for inhalers. They are among the most effective remedies for diseases of the bronchi (for example, with bronchial asthma). Inhalation with dexamethasone is usually prescribed for children.

  • Tablets. The main component is contained in them in the amount of 0.5 mg. Additional components are:
  1. lactose;
  2. microcrystalline cellulose;
  3. magnesium stearate , etc.

The tablet form of the drug is suitable for home use. It is recommended for adults with respiratory diseases.

But in this case, it is necessary to appoint a specialist and detailed instructions regarding dosages and the schedule of admission. They can differ depending on the disease. It is also imperative to follow the rules for storing the drug.

  • Eye drops. 1 ml of such a drug contains dexamethasone in an amount of 1 mg. Excipients are:
  1. sodium tetraborate ;
  2. boric acid;
  3. trilon ;
  4. water, etc.

The medicine is intended to combat eye diseases and normalize vision. It is also supposed to be used as directed by a doctor.

Regardless of the type of drug, caution is needed when using it. It is safe only if the instructions are followed and the individual characteristics of the organism are taken into account.

In some cases, it is even prescribed for pregnant women. But this requires consultation with a gynecologist, and the use of dexamethasone should be carried out under the supervision of a physician. Carelessness can lead to complications.

Indications for use

Before taking any medicine, you need to find out in which cases it helps. Therefore, you need to study the instructions for the drug. But it is even better when the remedy is prescribed by a doctor.

With a disease such as asthma, dexamethasone is often prescribed. In severe cases, the drug is used in an injection form. This allows you to quickly eliminate bronchospasm and relieve the patient of dangerous symptoms. In simpler situations, tablets containing this substance are prescribed.

Dexamethasone can also be used to treat obstructive bronchitis. It is recommended for status asthmaticus.

Dexamethasone eye drops are prescribed to treat eye diseases. Among them are:

  • keratitis;
  • scleritis;
  • episcleritis ;
  • conjunctivitis (including allergic).

It is allowed to use this drug for the treatment of allergic and inflammatory diseases of the ear cavity.

But dexamethasone is most effective in treating asthma. It is in this case that pills and injections are prescribed.


Dexamethasone should be taken only as directed by a doctor and only in accordance with the instructions. This drug has a strong effect, so its use unnecessarily can cause the development of dangerous changes in the body.

It is especially risky to take the drug in the presence of contraindications, this will cause a strong negative reaction from the body. Therefore, before the appointment, the attending physician must make sure that there are no contraindications.

The use of dexamethasone is strictly prohibited in case of increased sensitivity of the patient to the active substance and auxiliary components. Such patients should not use the medicine for long.

If there is an urgent need for treatment with its help, a specialist can prescribe a short course of no more than 3 days. It is necessary to undergo therapy under the supervision of medical professionals.

Other contraindications for taking dexamethasone include:

  • severe infectious diseases;
  • chronic fungal diseases;
  • parasitic pathologies;
  • the development of osteoporosis;
  • abnormalities in the functioning of the immune system;
  • diabetes;
  • pathology of the gastrointestinal tract ( diverticulitis , ulcer, colitis, etc.);
  • renal failure;
  • psychical deviations;
  • disturbances in the work of the heart;
  • diseases of the vascular system;
  • liver failure.

The presence of such violations is a reason for refusing to use the drug in question, regardless of the form of release. In this case, it is recommended to select other means for treatment.

The use of eye drops with dexamethasone is prohibited for trachoma and glaucoma. You should not use this remedy for viral eye diseases and fungal infections.

Treatment of ear diseases with a drug is not practiced if the tympanic membrane is damaged.

The period of pregnancy or the child’s age of the patient are not contraindications. Inhalation with dexamethasone is allowed for pregnant women and children, and if necessary, they are given injections. But in relation to them, special care is required. Before prescribing the drug to the expectant mother, the doctor must assess the risks.

The product should be used only under the supervision of a specialist. The appearance of negative reactions during the use of dexamethasone requires dosage adjustment or its cancellation. The patient must be given the necessary assistance.

Side effects from dexamethasone

Any drug can lead to side effects. This happens especially often when using strong drugs, which include dexamethasone.

The severity of side effects depends on the duration of treatment, dosage, frequency of administration and individual properties of the body. If they occur, it is necessary to find out the cause of the negative reactions, since they sometimes indicate drug intolerance or the presence of other contraindications.

The side effects of dexamethasone are varied. Therefore, they are divided into groups according to which organs or systems are adversely affected.

The main negative reactions include:

  1. Disturbances in the work of the central nervous system. Patients may experience headaches, dizziness, swelling of the optic nerve, impaired vision or temporary blindness, insomnia. Some of the patients suffer from hallucinations. It is also possible to develop a euphoric state.
  2. Deviations in the functioning of the heart and blood vessels. The most common problem is blood pressure. Patients may develop hypertension. Violations in the work of the heart are also possible: tachycardia and arrhythmia. Some have hypercoagulability , thrombosis develops.
  3. Pathology of the digestive system. Patients may complain of decreased or increased appetite, bouts of nausea and vomiting. With prolonged use of the drug, erosion and ulcers can develop, there is a risk of damage to the mucous membranes.
  4. Metabolic problems. Taking the medication can slow down the elimination of water from the body, which leads to the formation of peripheral edema. Sometimes the content of certain substances, for example, nitrogen or calcium, is pathologically reduced. The patient can rapidly increase body weight, and such changes will occur in the absence of changes in lifestyle. Their cause lies in metabolic disorders.
  5. Malfunctions of the endocrine system. This medication can slow growth in adolescents and children. Female representatives often complain of menstrual irregularities. Another side effect associated with the endocrine system is hirsutism. 

Additional side effects

There are also additional side effects. These include:

  • muscle and joint pain;
  • stretch marks formation ;
  • increased sweating;
  • swelling of the limbs and face;
  • skin rashes;
  • backache;
  • thinning of the skin;
  • anaphylactic shock.

Some of these reactions are due to the patient’s allergy to the drug.

Long-term use of dexamethasone can lead to disturbances in the functioning of the immune system, which makes the patient’s body unnecessarily vulnerable. In this regard, the development of secondary bacterial and fungal infections is likely. They are characterized by uncomfortable sensations, itching, burning, reddening of the skin, fever, etc. Such diseases often affect the eyes.

The patient should inform the attending physician of any symptoms noticed. You should not stop using the drug on your own, since in some cases the appearance of side effects is considered normal. This applies to situations where adverse symptoms are mild and do not tend to worsen.

In this case, the dosage is slightly reduced. If the pathological phenomena cause significant discomfort to the patient (up to a threat to life) or gradually intensify, dexamethasone treatment is stopped. If necessary, the patient is prescribed symptomatic therapy aimed at overcoming unpleasant manifestations.


Medicines containing dexamethasone are often used to treat bronchial asthma and other conditions. This substance has many beneficial properties, but it can be dangerous. It can only be taken as directed by a specialist. Doses are assigned to the patient on an individual basis.

For this, the doctor must study the clinical picture and features of the health condition. You also need to make sure that there are no contraindications to taking the medication. The patient should strictly follow the recommendations and inform the doctor about all the negative manifestations that have been noticed.

event_note November 14, 2020

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