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You are here: Home » eGM Resources » Health Information & Resources Portal|Home » RX Drug List (listed alphabetically) » Drug Reference (D's) » Dexamethasone (oral and topical)


Glucocorticoids are adrenocortical steroids, both naturally occurring and synthetic, which are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

Dexamethasone, a synthetic adrenocortical steroid, is a white to practically white, odorless, crystalline powder. It is stable in air. It is practically insoluble in water. The molecular weight is 392.47. It is designated chemically as 9-fluoro-11 b,17,21-trihydroxy- 16a-methylpregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione. The empirical formula is C22H29FO5.

Tablets and Elixir

Dexamethasone tablets are supplied in six potencies, 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 0.75 mg, 1.5 mg, 4 mg, and 6 mg. Inactive ingredients are calcium phosphate, lactose, magnesium stearate, and starch. Dexamethasone tablets 0.25 mg also contain FD&C yellow 6. Dexamethasone tablets 0.5 mg also contain FD&C Yellow 10 and FD&C Yellow 6. Dexamethasone tablets

0.75 mg also contain FD&C Blue 1. Dexamethasone tablets 1.5 mg also contain FD&C Red 40. Dexamethasone tablets 6 mg also contain FD&C Blue 1 and iron oxide.

Dexamethasone elixir contains 0.5 mg of dexamethasone in each 5 ml. Benzoic acid, 0.1%, is added as a preservative. It also contains alcohol 5%. Inactive ingredients are FD&C Red 40, flavors, glycerin, purified water, and sodium saccharin.

Topical Aerosol, Cream, and Gel

The topical corticosteroids constitute a class of primarily synthetic steroids used as anti-inflammatory and anti-pruritic agents.

Topical Aerosol Dexamethasone is a topical steroid preparation, each 25 mg of which contains 10 mg of dexamethasone. The inactive ingredients are isopropyl myristate, and isobutane. Each second of spray dispenses approximately 0.75 mg of dexamethasone.

Dexamethasone cream is a topical steroid preparation containing 0.1% of dexamethasone. Each gram contains 1 mg dexamethasone in Estergel, specially formulated vehicle consisting of gelled isopropyl myristate, wood alcohols B.P., refined lanolin alcohol, microcrystalline wax, anhydrous citric acid, and anhydrous sodium phosphate dibasic.

This emollient gel vehicle is anhydrous, lipophilic, hydrophilic, and moisture retentive. The base largely disappears when rubbed on the skin.


CATEGORIES: Adrenal Insufficiency; Adrenocortical Insufficiency; Allergies; Arthritis, Gouty; Arthritis, Osteoarthritis; Arthritis; Asthma; Bowel Disease; Bronchospasm; Bursitis; Carditis; Chorioretinitis; Choroiditis; Colitis; Conjunctivitis; Dermatitis, Atopic; Dermatitis; Edema, Laryngeal; Enteritis; Epicondylitis; Erythema Multiforme; Hypercalcemia; Hypersensitivty Reactions; Inflammation, Corneal; Iridocyclitis; Keratitis; Leukemia; Lupus Erythematosus; Mycosis Fungoides; Nephrotic Syndrome; Obstruction, Airway; Pemphigus; Pneumoconiosis; Pneumonitis, Aspiration; Pneumonitis; Polyps, Nasal; Proteinuria; Pruritus; Psoriasis; Rhinitis; Sarcoidosis; Serum Sickness; Spondylitis, Ankylosing; Spondylitis; Synovitis, Osteoarthritis; Synovitis; Tenosynovitis; Thrombocytopenia; Thrombocytopenic Purpura; Thyroiditis; Trichinosis; Tuberculosis, Fulminating; Ulcer, Corneal; Ulcerative Colitis; Urticaria; Uveitis; Pregnancy Category C; FDA Approved 1958 Oct; WHO Formulary

FDA Drug Class: Adrenal Corticosteroids; Antiarthritics; Dermatologics; Ocular Anti-Infective/Anti-Inflammatory

BRAND NAMES: Ak-Dex; Alfalyl; Alin; Artrosone; Cetadexon; Corotason; Corsona; Cortidex; Cortidexason; Curson; Dabu; Danasone; Decaderm; Decadran; Decadron; Decarex; Decaspray; Decdan; Decilone; Decofluor; Dectancyl; Deronil; Desalark; Dexacortal; Dexacortin; Dexalocal; Dexame; Dexamed; Dexametason; Dexamethason; Dexamonozon; Dexamethasone; Dexa-P; Dexasone; Dexasone S; Dexazone; Dexmethsone; Dexoclin; Dexona; Dexone; Dextrasone; Dibasona; Dms; Fortecortin; Hexadrol; Idizone; Inflam; Isopto; Isopto-Dex; Isopto-Maxidex; Isopto Maxidex; Lebedex; Loverine; Lozusu; Maxidex; Millicorten; Mitason; Mymethasone; Oftan-Dexa; Oradexon; Predni; Predni-F; Santenson; Sawasone; Spersadex; Taidon; Thilodexine; Visumetazone; Wymesone
(Foreign brand names outside U.S. in italics)

COST OF THERAPY: $7.48 (Asthma; Tablet; 0.75 mg; 1/day; 365 days)

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