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Corticosteroids (By mouth)

Treat asthma, serious skin disorders, arthritis, and other conditions.

Brand Name(s):

Baycadron Elixir, Celestone, Cortef, Cotolone, Deltasone, DexPak, DexPak 10 Day TaperPak, DexPak 13 Day TaperPak, DexPak 6 Day TaperPak, Dexamethasone Intensol, Dexpak, Entocort EC, Flo-Pred, Florinef Acetate, Medrol

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an unusual or allergic reaction to any cortisone drugs such as hydrocortisone, prednisone, dexamethasone, or triamcinolone.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Long Acting Capsule, Delayed Release Capsule, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you take the medicine once or several times a day, take the missed dose as soon as possible unless it is almost time for the next dose. If it is almost time for your next regular dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. You should not use two doses at the same time.
  • If you take the medicine every other day, take the missed dose that same morning. If you remember the missed dose later in the day, skip the missed dose and take the dose the next morning and then go back to your regular schedule.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. You might need to store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • It is best not to drink alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using aspirin, arthritis medicine, a diuretic ("water pill") such as hydrochlorothiazide, estrogens (Premarin® or birth control pills), Dilantin®, or phenobarbital.
  • Immunizations or vaccines might not work as well while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
  • Check with your doctor if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, AIDS, glaucoma, kidney disease, liver disease, stomach ulcers, tuberculosis, or herpes infection or any other type of viral or bacterial infection before you use any corticosteroid.
  • Before you have any surgery, make sure your doctor or dentist knows that you are using this medicine.
  • If you have diabetes, corticosteroids may increase your blood sugar level.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Unexplained fever or sore throat
  • Pain when going to the bathroom (urinating)
  • Muscle aches
  • Hallucinations, sudden mood changes
  • Bloody or black stools
  • Blurred vision, eye pain

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness or trouble sleeping
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Increased hair growth
  • Acne or thin skin
  • Changes in your menstrual periods
  • Fluid retention (swollen feet or ankles), weight gain

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 8/4/2014


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