Exit

Drug

Dexamethasone

Pronounced

"dex-uh-METH-uh-sown"

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: aminoglutethimide, birth control pills, certain cancer drugs (dasatinib, lapatinib, sunitinib, aldesleukin), cholestyramine, digoxin, drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/warfarin, NSAIDs such as aspirin/celecoxib/ibuprofen), ephedrine, estrogen hormone replacement, isoniazid, mifepristone, rilpivirine, thalidomide.

Other medications can affect the removal of dexamethasone from your body, which may affect how dexamethasone works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole), barbiturates (such as phenobarbital), rifamycins (such as rifampin), certain medications used to treat seizures (such as phenytoin), among others.

If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including skin tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

  • Negative Interactions

    4
    • Dexamethasone

      Diuretic Herbs

      Potential Negative Interaction

      Use of corticosteroids may be associated with loss of certain minerals, called electrolytes. Herbs with a diuretic action (in other words, they promote fluid loss from the body through an increase in urine production) may accelerate the electrolyte loss caused by corticosteroids. Such herbs include asparagus root, butcher’s broom, cleavers, corn silk, juniper, mate, and parsley. This interaction is theoretical and has not been reported in the medical literature.

      Use of buckthorn (Rhamnus catartica, Rhamnus frangula, Frangula alnus) or alder buckthorn (Rhamnus catartica, Rhamnus frangula), for more than ten days consecutively may cause a loss of electrolytes (especially the mineral potassium). Because corticosteroids also cause potassium loss, buckthorn or alder buckthorn should be used with caution if corticosteroids are being taken.

      Diuretic Herbs
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Wallace J. A model for drug/nutrient synergies: focus on cortisone drugs. Int J Integrative Med 2000;2:33-9.
      2. European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP). Frangulae cortex, frangula bark. Monographs on the Medicinal Uses of Plant Drugs. Exeter, UK: University of Exeter, Centre for Complementary Health Studies, 1997.
    • Dexamethasone

      Laxative Herbs

      Potential Negative Interaction

      Like diuretic herbs, herbs with a laxative action could theoretically increase electrolyte loss associated with corticosteroid use. Such herbs include aloe, buckthorn, cascara sagrada, rhubarb, and senna. This interaction is theoretical and has not been reported in the medical literature.

      Laxative Herbs
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Blumenthal M (ed.). The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Boston: American Botanical Council, 1998, pp.475-7.
    • Dexamethasone

      Magnesium

      Potential Negative Interaction

      Corticosteroids may increase the body’s loss of magnesium. Some doctors recommend that people taking corticosteroids for more than two weeks supplement with 300–400 mg of magnesium per day. Magnesium has also been reported to interfere with the absorption of dexamethasone.

      Magnesium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Holt GA. Food & Drug Interactions. Chicago: Precept Press, 1998, 83.
      2. Naggar VF, Khalil SA, Gouda MW. Effect of concomitant administration of magnesium trisilicate on GI absorption of dexamethasone in humans. J Pharm Sci 1978;67:1029-30.
    • Dexamethasone

      Sodium

      Potential Negative Interaction

      Oral corticosteroids cause both sodium and water retention. People taking corticosteroids should talk with their doctor about whether they should restrict salt intake.

      Sodium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Sifton DW, ed. Physicians Desk Reference, Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 2000, 1765-6.
  • Supportive Interactions

    14
    • Dexamethasone

      Calcium

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Oral corticosteroids reduce absorption of calcium and interfere with the activation and metabolism of the vitamin, increasing the risk of bone loss. Doctors can measure levels of activated vitamin D (called 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol) to determine whether a deficiency exists; if so, activated vitamin D is only available by prescription. A study of rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with low amounts of prednisone found that those who received 1,000 mg of calcium per day plus 500 IU of vitamin D per day for two years experienced no bone loss during that time period. An analysis of properly conducted trials concluded that supplementation with vitamin D and calcium was more effective than placebo or calcium alone in protecting against corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. Most doctors recommend 1,000 mg of calcium and 400–800 IU vitamin D per day for the prevention of osteoporosis.

      Calcium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Hahn TJ, Halstead LR, Baran DT. Effects off short term glucocorticoid administration on intestinal calcium absorption and circulating vitamin D metabolite concentrations in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1981;52:111-5.
      2. Trovato A, Nuhlicek DN, Midtling JE. Drug-nutrient interactions. Am Family Phys 1991;44:1651-8.
      3. Chesney RW, Mazess RB, Hamstra AJ, et al. Reduction of serum-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D, in children receiving glucocorticoids. Lancet 1978;ii:1123-5.
      4. Nielsen HK, Eriksen EF, Storm T, Mosekilde K. The effects of short-term, high-dose prednisone on the nuclear uptake of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in monocytes from normal human subjects. Metabolism 1988;37:109-14.
      5. Avioli LV. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in patients receiving chronic corticosteroid therapy. J Lab Clin Med 1977;23:399-404.
      6. Buckley LM, Leib ES, Cartularo KS, et al. Calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation prevents bone loss in the spine secondary to low-dose corticosteroids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1996;125:961-8.
      7. Amin S, LaValley PM, Simms RW, Felson DT. The role of vitamin D in corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. Arthritis Rheum 1999;42:1740-51.
    • Dexamethasone

      Calcium and Vitamin D

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Oral corticosteroids reduce absorption of calcium and interfere with the activation and metabolism of the vitamin, increasing the risk of bone loss. Doctors can measure levels of activated vitamin D (called 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol) to determine whether a deficiency exists; if so, activated vitamin D is only available by prescription. A study of rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with low amounts of prednisone found that those who received 1,000 mg of calcium per day plus 500 IU of vitamin D per day for two years experienced no bone loss during that time period. An analysis of properly conducted trials concluded that supplementation with vitamin D and calcium was more effective than placebo or calcium alone in protecting against corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. Most doctors recommend 1,000 mg of calcium and 400–800 IU vitamin D per day for the prevention of osteoporosis.

      Calcium and Vitamin D
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Hahn TJ, Halstead LR, Baran DT. Effects off short term glucocorticoid administration on intestinal calcium absorption and circulating vitamin D metabolite concentrations in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1981;52:111-5.
      2. Trovato A, Nuhlicek DN, Midtling JE. Drug-nutrient interactions. Am Family Phys 1991;44:1651-8.
      3. Chesney RW, Mazess RB, Hamstra AJ, et al. Reduction of serum-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D, in children receiving glucocorticoids. Lancet 1978;ii:1123-5.
      4. Nielsen HK, Eriksen EF, Storm T, Mosekilde K. The effects of short-term, high-dose prednisone on the nuclear uptake of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in monocytes from normal human subjects. Metabolism 1988;37:109-14.
      5. Avioli LV. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in patients receiving chronic corticosteroid therapy. J Lab Clin Med 1977;23:399-404.
      6. Buckley LM, Leib ES, Cartularo KS, et al. Calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation prevents bone loss in the spine secondary to low-dose corticosteroids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1996;125:961-8.
      7. Amin S, LaValley PM, Simms RW, Felson DT. The role of vitamin D in corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. Arthritis Rheum 1999;42:1740-51.
    • Dexamethasone

      Chromium

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Preliminary data suggest that corticosteroid treatment increases chromium loss. Double-blind trials are needed to confirm these observations.

      Chromium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Ravina A, Slezak L, Mirsky N, et al. Reversal of corticosteroid-induced diabetes mellitus with supplemental chromium. Diabet Med 1999;16:164-7.
    • Dexamethasone

      Melatonin

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      A controlled trial found that a single dose of the synthetic corticosteroid dexamethasone suppressed production of melatonin in nine of 11 healthy volunteers. Further research is needed to determine if long-term use of corticosteroids interferes in a meaningful way with melatonin production, and whether supplemental melatonin would be advisable for people taking corticosteroids.

      Melatonin
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Demisch L, Demisch K, Nickelsen T. Influence of dexamethasone on nocturnal melatonin production in healthy adult subjects. J Pineal Res 1987;5:317-22.
    • Dexamethasone

      Potassium

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Oral corticosteroids increase the urinary loss of potassium. This may not cause a significant problem for most people. Individuals who wish to increase potassium intake should eat more fruits, vegetables, and juices rather than taking over-the-counter potassium supplements, which do not contain significant amounts of potassium.

      Potassium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Thelkeld DS, ed. Hormones, Adrenal Cortical Steroids, Glucocorticoids. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, Apr 1991, 128b.
    • Dexamethasone

      Selenium

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Oral corticosteroids have been found to increase urinary loss of vitamin K, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc. The importance of these losses is unknown.

      Selenium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Buist RA. Drug-nutrient interactions—an overview. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1984;4:114 [review].
      2. Peretz AM, Neve JD, Famaey JP. Selenium in rheumatic diseases. Semin Arthritis Rheum 1991;20:305-16 [review].
    • Dexamethasone

      Vitamin B6

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Corticosteroids may increase the loss of vitamin B6. One double-blind study of people with asthma failed to show any added benefit from taking 300 mg per day of vitamin B6 along with inhaled steroids. Therefore, while small amounts of vitamin B6 may be needed to prevent deficiency, large amounts may not provide added benefit. Some doctors recommend that people taking corticosteroids for longer than two weeks supplement with at least 2 mg of vitamin B6 per day.

      Vitamin B6
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Holt GA. Food & Drug Interactions. Chicago: Precept Press, 1998, 83.
      2. Sur S, Camara M, Buchmeier A, et al. Double-blind trial of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in the treatment of steroid-dependent asthma. Ann Allergy 1993;70:147-52.
    • Dexamethasone

      Vitamin C

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Oral corticosteroids have been found to increase urinary loss of vitamin K, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc. The importance of these losses is unknown.

      Vitamin C
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Buist RA. Drug-nutrient interactions—an overview. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1984;4:114 [review].
    • Dexamethasone

      Vitamin K

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Oral corticosteroids have been found to increase urinary loss of vitamin K, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc. The importance of these losses is unknown.

      Vitamin K
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Buist RA. Drug-nutrient interactions—an overview. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1984;4:114 [review].
    • Dexamethasone

      Zinc

      Replenish Depleted Nutrients

      Oral corticosteroids have been found to increase urinary loss of vitamin K, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc. The importance of these losses is unknown.

      Zinc
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Buist RA. Drug-nutrient interactions—an overview. Int Clin Nutr Rev 1984;4:114 [review].
    • Dexamethasone

      Horny Goat Weed

      Support Medicine

      According to preliminary human studies, horny goat weed offset some of the side effects of corticosteroids.

      Horny Goat Weed
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Cai D, Shen S, Chen X. Clinical and experimental research of Epimedium brevicornum in relieving neuroendocrino-immunological effect inhibited by exogenous glucocorticoid. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1998;18:4-7 [in Chinese].
    • Dexamethasone

      N-Acetyl Cysteine

      Support Medicine

      One preliminary study found that in people with fibrosing alveolitis (a rare lung disease), supplementation with 600 mg N-acetyl cysteine three times per day increased the effectiveness of prednisone therapy.

      N-Acetyl Cysteine
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Behr J, Maier K, Degenkolb B, et al. Antioxidative and clinical effects of high-dose N-acetylcysteine in fibrosing alveolitis. Adjunctive therapy to maintenance immunosuppression. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1997;156:1897-901.
    • Dexamethasone

      Calcium and Vitamin D

      Reduce Side Effects

      This interaction is based on this drug belonging to a drug class. While this drug may differ from the text and references below, drugs within this class work in a similar way and this interaction is applicable to drugs within the same class.

      Oral corticosteroids reduce absorption of calcium and interfere with the activation and metabolism of the vitamin, increasing the risk of bone loss. Doctors can measure levels of activated vitamin D (called 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol) to determine whether a deficiency exists; if so, activated vitamin D is only available by prescription. A study of rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with low amounts of prednisone found that those who received 1,000 mg of calcium per day plus 500 IU of vitamin D per day for two years experienced no bone loss during that time period. An analysis of properly conducted trials concluded that supplementation with vitamin D and calcium was more effective than placebo or calcium alone in protecting against corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. Most doctors recommend 1,000 mg of calcium and 400–800 IU vitamin D per day for the prevention of osteoporosis.

      Calcium and Vitamin D
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Hahn TJ, Halstead LR, Baran DT. Effects off short term glucocorticoid administration on intestinal calcium absorption and circulating vitamin D metabolite concentrations in man. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1981;52:111-5.
      2. Trovato A, Nuhlicek DN, Midtling JE. Drug-nutrient interactions. Am Family Phys 1991;44:1651-8.
      3. Chesney RW, Mazess RB, Hamstra AJ, et al. Reduction of serum-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D, in children receiving glucocorticoids. Lancet 1978;ii:1123-5.
      4. Nielsen HK, Eriksen EF, Storm T, Mosekilde K. The effects of short-term, high-dose prednisone on the nuclear uptake of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in monocytes from normal human subjects. Metabolism 1988;37:109-14.
      5. Avioli LV. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in patients receiving chronic corticosteroid therapy. J Lab Clin Med 1977;23:399-404.
      6. Buckley LM, Leib ES, Cartularo KS, et al. Calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation prevents bone loss in the spine secondary to low-dose corticosteroids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 1996;125:961-8.
      7. Amin S, LaValley PM, Simms RW, Felson DT. The role of vitamin D in corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis. Arthritis Rheum 1999;42:1740-51.
    • Dexamethasone

      Chromium

      Reduce Side Effects

      Preliminary data suggest that supplementation with chromium (600 mcg per day in the form of chromium picolinate) may prevent corticosteroid-induced diabetes. Double-blind trials are needed to confirm these observations.

      Chromium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Ravina A, Slezak L, Mirsky N, et al. Reversal of corticosteroid-induced diabetes mellitus with supplemental chromium. Diabet Med 1999;16:164-7.
  • Explanation Required

    5
    • Dexamethasone

      Grapefruit

      Needs Explanation

      Taking the oral corticosteroid methylprednisolone with grapefruit juice has been shown to delay the absorption and increase the blood concentration of the drug. The mechanism by which grapefruit juice increases the concentration of methylpredniolone in the blood is not known, but it is suspected that it may interfere with enzymes in the liver responsible for clearing the drug from the body. In certain people, grapefruit juice may, therefore, enhance the effects of methylprednisolone. The combination should be avoided unless approved by the prescribing doctor.

      Grapefruit
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Varis T, Kivisto KT, Neuvonen PJ. Grapefruit juice can increase the plasma concentrations of oral methylprednisolone. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2000;56:489-93.
    • Dexamethasone

      Licorice

      Needs Explanation

      Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) extract was shown to decrease the elimination of prednisone in test tube studies. If this action happens in people, it might prolong prednisone activity and possibly increase prednisone-related side effects. A small, controlled study found that intravenous (iv) glycyrrhizin (an active constituent in licorice) given with iv prednisolone prolonged prednisolone action in healthy men. Whether this effect would occur with oral corticosteroids and licorice supplements is unknown.

      An animal study has shown that glycyrrhizin prevents the immune-suppressing actions of cortisone—the natural corticosteroid hormone produced by the body. More research is necessary to determine if this action is significant in humans taking oral corticosteroids. Until more is known, people should not take licorice with corticosteroids without first consulting a doctor.

      Licorice
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Tamura Y, Nishikawa T, Yamada K, et al. Effects of glycyrrhetinic acid and its derivatives on delta-4-5-alpha- and 5-beta-reductase in rat liver. Arzneimittelforschung 1979;29:647-9.
      2. Chen MF, Shimada F, Kato H, et al. Effect of glycyrrhizin on the pharmacokinetics of prednisolone following low dosage of prednisolone hemisuccinate. Endocrinol Jpn 1990;37:331-41.
      3. Kumagai A, Nanaboshi M, Asanuma Y, et al. Effects of glycyrrhizin on thymolytic and immunosuppressive action of cortisone. Endocrinol Jpn 1967;14:39-42.
    • Dexamethasone

      Magnesium

      Needs Explanation

      This interaction is based on this drug belonging to a drug class. While this drug may differ from the text and references below, drugs within this class work in a similar way and this interaction is applicable to drugs within the same class.

      Corticosteroids may increase the body’s loss of magnesium. Some doctors recommend that people taking corticosteroids for more than two weeks supplement with 300–400 mg of magnesium per day. Magnesium has also been reported to interfere with the absorption of dexamethasone.

      Magnesium
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Holt GA. Food & Drug Interactions. Chicago: Precept Press, 1998, 83.
      2. Naggar VF, Khalil SA, Gouda MW. Effect of concomitant administration of magnesium trisilicate on GI absorption of dexamethasone in humans. J Pharm Sci 1978;67:1029-30.
    • Dexamethasone

      Pomegranate

      Needs Explanation

      Pomegranate juice has been shown to inhibit the same enzyme that is inhibited by grapefruit juice. The degree of inhibition is about the same for each of these juices. Therefore, it would be reasonable to expect that pomegranate juice might interact with oral corticosteroids in the same way that grapefruit juice does.

      Pomegranate
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Sorokin AV, Duncan B, Panetta R, Thompson PD. Rhabdomyolysis associated with pomegranate juice consumption. Am J Cardiol 2006;98:705-6.
      2. Summers KM. Potential drug-food interactions with pomegranate juice. Ann Pharmacother 2006;40:1472-3.
    • Dexamethasone

      Vitamin A

      Needs Explanation

      In some people, treatment with corticosteroids can impair wound healing. In one study, topical or internal vitamin A improved wound healing in eight of ten patients on corticosteroid therapy. In theory, vitamin A might also reverse some of the beneficial effects of corticosteroids, but this idea has not been investigated and no reports exist of such an interaction in people taking both vitamin A and corticosteroids. People using oral corticosteroids should consult with a doctor to determine whether improved wound healing might outweigh the theoretical risk associated with concomitant vitamin A use.

      Although blood levels of vitamin A appear to increase during dexamethasone therapy—most likely due to mobilization of the vitamin from its stores in the liver—evidence from animal studies has also indicated that corticosteroids can deplete vitamin A from tissues.

      Vitamin A
      Dexamethasone
      ×
      1. Hunt TK, Ehrlich HP, Garcia JA, et al. Effect of vitamin A on reversing the inhibitory effect of cortisone on healing of open wounds in animals and man. Ann Surg 1969;170:633-41.
      2. Shenai JP, Mellen BG, Chytil F. Vitamin A status and postnatal dexamethasone treatment in bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Pediatrics 2000;106:547-53.
      3. Georgieff MK, Radmer WJ, Sowell AL. The effect of glucocorticosteroids on serum, liver, and lung vitamin A and retinyl ester concentrations. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1991;13:376-82.

Copyright © 2020 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

RxAnswers™ is a copyrighted combined product from Healthnotes and First DataBank, Inc.

Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

This information is intended only for residents of the United States. Products sold under the same brand names in other countries may contain different ingredients.

Learn more about First DataBank

There are some limitations on the information provided in “Nutrient Interactions.” Do NOT rely solely on the information in this article. Please read the disclaimer

Learn more about Healthnotes, the company.

Healthnotes and/or its suppliers make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of this content herein or that of any organization referred or linked to within this content and will not be liable for any damages arising out of your access to or use of any information found herein or that of any organization referred to within this content.

Information expires December 2020.