Dexamethasone is a class of steroid drugs that has immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory effects. It usually reduces the signs of inflammation such as burning, redness, irritation and swelling of eye, which are caused due to various types of infection, chemicals, radiation, allergy, or foreign substances in the eye. It is also used after surgical operations of eye(s). This drug is available in the form of ophthalmic solutions and eye ointments. Dexamethasone is also used in various other diseases such as inflammatory diseases, cancer, endocrinal disorders and many more.
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Dexamethasone is one of the powerful steroidal drugs of the glucocorticoid class. The systematic name of this potent drug is (8S,9R,10S,11S,13S,14S,16R,17R)-9- Fluoro-11,17-dihydroxy-17-(2-hydroxyacetyl)-10,13,16-trimethyl-6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17- dodecahydro-3H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one. The molecular mass of this drug is 392.461 g/mol and the chemical formula is C22H29FO5.
The exact mechanism of Dexamethasone is still unclear, but its anti-inflammatory properties help subside inflammation and its sign, such as swelling, redness, and loss of function.
One should follow the directions carefully, which are available on the prescription label before using Dexamethasone, or ask the physician or pharmacist to explain the directions.
You should use this medicine strictly under your physician’s direction and avoid the overuse or misuse of this steroidal drug.
One should shake the vial (suspension form of eye drops) well before each instillation of this medicine.
You should wash your hands and eyes thoroughly with water, before using this drug.
One should avoid touching the tip of vial against the eye or anything else, to avoid contamination of the medicine.
You should tilt your head back; draw the lower eyelid down with index finger to form a pouch. Instill a single drop in the pouch and remove the index finger that closes the pouch. Now close your eye(s) for 2 to 3 minutes and do not squeeze or blink your eyelids.
You should wipe out excess solution over the face with tissue.
One should immediately replace and tighten the cap, to avoid contamination of the medicine.
You should remove your contact lenses during instilling the drops of Dexamethasone; you can put your lenses back after 15 minutes of the medication.
You should tell your physician if you are allergic to Dexamethasone or any other drugs.
You should inform your physician about the medications, which you are undergoing for any other eye ailments.
One should discuss with the doctor about any medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, glaucoma, heart diseases, etc.
If you are planning for pregnancy or breast-feeding, tell your physician before using this steroidal eye drops.
One should store this drug at room temperature and away from heat and direct sunlight, and more importantly out of reach of children.
Do not try to stop the usage of this medicine abruptly.
Before completely ceasing the medicine, you may need to taper the dose for several days to prevent drug reactions.
During treatment, if you experience no improvement or you develop new symptoms, ask the medical advisor for further management.
Do not overdose with Dexamethasone, as you may suffer from vision complications.
Avoid outdoor, risky activities soon after instilling the eye drops, as you may experience blurry vision.
The treatment duration of Dexamethasone is not specific, as it often depends on the severity and type of inflammation. Initially, you may need to use it regularly until the signs of inflammation get reduce. Then, gradually taper the dose once the inflammation is completely gone. So to know about this, you need to follow the doctor’s instruction appropriately.
Probable Side Effects
You should immediately contact your physician, in case of any side effects of Dexamethasone, such as –
Halos around lights
Changes in vision
Pain or pressure in eye
Redness or itching of eye
If you are already taking Dexamethasone orals (prednisone) or other steroids, talk with the doctor before using eye drops. At the same time, inform about prescription or OTC drugs, herbal or vitamin supplements before using this ophthalmic solution, because few medicinal drugs may interact adversely..
Patients who are oversensitive to Dexamethasone are not allowed to use this steroidal eye drops.