Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection, usprx only
DEXAMETHASONE SODIUM PHOSPHATE - dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection
Baxter Healthcare Corporation
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate, a synthetic adrenocortical steroid, is a white or slightly yellow crystalline powder. It is freely
soluble in water and is exceedingly hygroscopic. The molecular weight is 516.41. It is designated chemically as 9-fluoro-11β,17-
dihydroxy-16α-methyl-21-(phosphonooxy)pregna-1,4-diene-3, 20-dione disodium salt.
The molecular formula is: C22H28FNa2O8P and the structural formula is:
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection is a sterile solution of dexamethasone sodium phosphate for intravenous andintramuscular use. The 4 mg/mL strength may also be used for intra-articular, intralesional and soft tissue administration.
Each mL of Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection 4 mg/mL contains dexamethasone sodium phosphate, equivalent to 4 mgdexamethasone phosphate or 3.33 mg dexamethasone. Inactive ingredients per mL: 1 mg sodium sulfite anhydrous, 19.4 mg sodiumcitrate anhydrous and 10.42 mg (0.01 mL) benzyl alcohol (preservative) in Water for Injection.
Each mL of Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection 10 mg/mL contains dexamethasone sodium phosphate, equivalent to 10 mgdexamethasone phosphate or 8.33 mg dexamethasone. Inactive ingredients per mL: 1.5 mg sodium sulfite anhydrous, 16.5 mg sodiumcitrate anhydrous and 10.42 mg (0.01 mL) benzyl alcohol (preservative) in Water for Injection.
The pH of both concentrations is 7.0-8.5; sodium hydroxide and/or citric acid used, if needed, for pH adjustment. Sealed undernitrogen.
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection has a rapid onset but short duration of action when compared with less soluble
preparations. Because of this, it is suitable for the treatment of acute disorders responsive to adrenocortical steroid therapy.
Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone), which also have salt-retaining properties, are used as replacement
therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs, including dexamethasone, are primarily used for their potent anti-
inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems.
Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body's immune responses to diverse stimuli.
At equipotent anti-inflammatory doses, dexamethasone almost completely lacks the sodium-retaining property of hydrocortisone and
closely related derivatives of hydrocortisone.
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
A. By Intravenous or Intramuscular Injection When Oral Therapy is not Feasible:
1. Endocrine DisordersPrimary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used inconjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance)
Acute adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; mineralocorticoid supplementation may benecessary, particularly when synthetic analogs are used)
Preoperatively, and in the event of serious trauma or illness, in patients with known adrenal insufficiency or when adrenocorticalreserve is doubtful
Shock unresponsive to conventional therapy if adrenocortical insufficiency exists or is suspected
2. Rheumatic DisordersAs adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:
Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy)
3. Collagen DiseasesDuring an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:
Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
5. Allergic StatesControl of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in:
Acute noninfectious laryngeal edema (epinephrine is the drug of first choice)
6. Ophthalmic DiseasesSevere acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye, such as:
Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis
7. Gastrointestinal DiseasesTo tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:
8. Respiratory DiseasesSymptomatic sarcoidosis
Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy
Loeffler's syndrome not manageable by other means
9. Hematologic DisordersAcquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults (IV only; IM administration is contraindicated)
Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia
10. Neoplastic DiseasesFor palliative management of:
11. Edematous StatesTo induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type, or that due to lupuserythematosus
12. MiscellaneousTuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculouschemotherapy
Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement
13. Diagnostic Testing Of Adrenocortical Hyperfunction
14. Cerebral Edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, craniotomy or head injury. Use in cerebral edema is not asubstitute for careful neurosurgical evaluation and definitive management such as neurosurgery or other specific therapy.
B. By Intra-Articular or Soft Tissue Injection
As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:
Synovitis of osteoarthritis
Acute and subacute bursitis
Acute gouty arthritis
Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis
C. By Intralesional Injection
Localized hypertrophic, infiltrated, inflammatory lesions of: lichen planus, psoriatic plaques, granuloma annulare, and lichen simplex
Discoid lupus erythematosus
Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum
May also be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis or tendon (ganglia).
Systemic fungal infections (see WARNINGS regarding amphotericin B).
Hypersensitivity to any component of this product, including sulfites (see WARNINGS).
Because rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving parenteral corticosteroid therapy, appropriate
precautionary measures should be taken prior to administration, especially when the patient has a history of allergy to any drug.
Anaphylactoid and hypersensitivity reactions have been reported for Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection (see ADVERSE
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection contains sodium sulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including
anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. The overall prevalence of
sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in asthmatic than
in nonasthmatic people.
Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and, therefore, should not be used in the presence of such infections unless
they are needed to control drug reactions due to amphotericin B. Moreover, there have been cases reported in which concomitant use
of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive failure.
In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during and
after the stressful situation is indicated.
Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may result from too rapid withdrawal of corticosteroids and may be minimized
by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore,
in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. If the patient is receiving steroids
already, dosage may have to be increased. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should
be administered concurrently.
Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. There may be decreased resistance
and inability to localize infections when corticosteroids are used. Moreover, corticosteroids may affect the nitroblue-tetrazolium test
for bacterial infection and produce false-negative results.
In cerebral malaria, a double blind trial has shown that the use of corticosteroids is associated with prolongation of coma and a higher
incidence of pneumonia and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Corticosteroids may activate latent amebiasis. Therefore, it is recommended that latent or active amebiasis be ruled out before
initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or in any patient with unexplained diarrhea.
Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves andmay enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.
Average and large doses of cortisone or hydrocortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention and increasedexcretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietarysalt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.
Administration of live virus vaccines, including smallpox, is contraindicated in individuals receiving immunosuppressive dosesof corticosteroids. If inactivated viral or bacterial vaccines are administered to individuals receiving immunosuppressive doses ofcorticosteroids, the expected serum antibody response may not be obtained. However, immunization procedures may be undertaken inpatients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy, e.g., for Addison's disease.
Persons who are on drugs which suppress the immune system are more susceptible to infections than healthy individuals. Chickenpoxand measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in non-immune children or adults on corticosteroids. Insuch children or adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. How the dose, route andduration of corticosteroid administration affects the risk of developing a disseminated infection is unknown. The contribution of theunderlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chickenpox, prophylaxis withvaricella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with pool intramuscular immuneglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for VZIG and IG for complete prescribing information.) Ifchickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.
The use of Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating ordisseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriateantituberculosis regimen.
If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary asreactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.
Literature reports suggest an apparent association between use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recentmyocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.
Usage in Pregnancy
Since adequate human reproduction studies have not been done with corticosteroids, use of these drugs in pregnancy or in women
of childbearing potential requires that the anticipated benefits be weighed against the possible hazards to the mother and embryo or
fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed
for signs of hypoadrenalism.
Corticosteroids appear in breast milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production or cause other
unwanted effects. Mothers taking pharmacologic doses of corticosteroids should be advised not to nurse.
This product, like many other steroid formulations, is sensitive to heat. Therefore, it should not be autoclaved when it is desirable to
sterilize the exterior of the vial.
Following prolonged therapy, withdrawal of corticosteroids may result in symptoms of the corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome
including fever, myalgia, arthralgia and malaise. This may occur in patients even without evidence of adrenal insufficiency.
There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids in patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis.
Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex for fear of corneal perforation.
The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is
possible, the reduction must be gradual.
Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality
changes and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be
aggravated by corticosteroids.
Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia.
Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess,
or other pyogenic infection, also in diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, active or latent peptic ulcer, renal insufficiency,
hypertension, osteoporosis and myasthenia gravis. Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients
receiving large doses of corticosteroids may be minimal or absent. Fat embolism has been reported as a possible complication of
When large doses are given, some authorities advise that antacids be administered between meals to help prevent peptic ulcer.
Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should be carefully followed.
Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.
Phenytoin, phenobarbital, ephedrine and rifampin may enhance the metabolic clearance of corticosteroids resulting in decreased blood
levels and lessened physiologic activity, thus requiring adjustment in corticosteroid dosage. These interactions may interfere with
dexamethasone suppression tests which should be interpreted with caution during administration of these drugs.
False negative results in the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) in patients being treated with indomethacin have been reported.
Thus, results of the DST should be interpreted with caution in these patients.
The prothrombin time should be checked frequently in patients who are receiving corticosteroids and coumarin anticoagulants at thesame time because of reports that corticosteroids have altered the response to these anticoagulants. Studies have shown that the usualeffect produced by adding corticosteroids is inhibition of response to coumarins, although there have been some conflicting reports ofpotentiation not substantiated by studies.
When corticosteroids are administered concomitantly with potassium-depleting diuretics, patients should be observed closely fordevelopment of hypokalemia.
Intra-articular injection of a corticosteroid may produce systemic as well as local effects.
Appropriate examination of any joint fluid present is necessary to exclude a septic process.
A marked increase in pain accompanied by local swelling, further restriction of joint motion, fever and malaise is suggestive of septicarthritis. If this complication occurs and the diagnosis of sepsis is confirmed, appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be instituted.
Injection of a steroid into an infected site is to be avoided.
Corticosteroids should not be injected into unstable joints.
Patients should be impressed strongly with the importance of not overusing joints in which symptomatic benefit has been obtained aslong as the inflammatory process remains active.
Frequent intra-articular injection may result in damage to joint tissues.
The slower rate of absorption by intramuscular administration should be recognized.
Information for Patients
Persons who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles.
Patients should also be advised that if they are exposed, medical advice should be sought without delay.
Fluid and Electrolyte Disturbances
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
Loss of muscle mass
Vertebral compression fractures
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
Pathologic fracture of long bones
Peptic ulcer with possible subsequent perforation and hemorrhage
Perforation of the small and large bowel, particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Impaired wound healing
Thin, fragile skin
Petechiae and ecchymoses
May suppress reactions to skin tests
Burning or tingling, especially in the perineal area (after IV injection)
Other cutaneous reactions, such as allergic dermatitis, urticaria, angioneurotic edema
Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually after treatment
Development of cushingoid state
Suppression of growth in children
Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery or illness
Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
Increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics
Posterior subcapsular cataracts
Increased intraocular pressure
Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism
Myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS)
Anaphylactoid or hypersensitivity reactions
The following additional
adverse reactions are related to parenteral corticosteroid therapy:
Rare instances of blindness associated with intralesional therapy around the face and head
Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
Subcutaneous and cutaneous atrophy
Postinjection flare (following intra-articular use)
Reports of acute toxicity and/or death following overdosage of glucocorticoids are rare. In the event of overdosage, no specific
antidote is available; treatment is supportive and symptomatic.
The oral LD50 of dexamethasone in female mice was 6.5 g/kg. The intravenous LD50 of dexamethasone sodium phosphate in female
mice was 794 mg/kg.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection, 4 mg/mL-For intravenous, intramuscular, intra-articular, intralesional and soft tissue
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection, 10 mg/mL-For intravenous and intramuscular injection only.
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection can be given directly from the vial or it can be added to Sodium Chloride Injection or
Dextrose Injection and administered by intravenous drip.
Solutions used for intravenous administration or further dilution of this product should be preservative-free when used in the neonate,
especially the premature infant.
When it is mixed with an infusion solution, sterile precautions should be observed. Since infusion solutions generally do not contain
preservatives, mixtures should be used within 24 hours.
DOSAGE REQUIREMENTS ARE VARIABLE AND MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE DISEASE AND THERESPONSE OF THE PATIENT.
INTRAVENOUS AND INTRAMUSCULAR INJECTION
The initial dosage of Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection varies from 0.5 to 9 mg a day depending on the disease being
treated. In less severe diseases doses lower than 0.5 mg may suffice, while in severe diseases doses higher than 9 mg may be required.
The initial dosage should be maintained or adjusted until the patient's response is satisfactory. If a satisfactory clinical response does
not occur after a reasonable period of time, discontinue Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection and transfer the patient to other
After a favorable initial response, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial dosage in small
amounts to the lowest dosage that maintains an adequate clinical response.
Patients should be observed closely for signs that might require dosage adjustment, including changes in clinical status resulting from
remissions or exacerbations of the disease, individual drug responsiveness and the effect of stress (e.g., surgery, infection, trauma).
During stress it may be necessary to increase dosage temporarily.
If the drug is to be stopped after more than a few days of treatment, it usually should be withdrawn gradually.
When the intravenous route of administration is used, dosage usually should be the same as the oral dosage. In certain overwhelming,
acute, life-threatening situations, however, administration in dosages exceeding the usual dosages may be justified and may be in
multiples of the oral dosages. The slower rate of absorption by intramuscular administration should be recognized.
ShockThere is a tendency in current medical practice to use high (pharmacologic) doses of corticosteroids for the treatment of unresponsiveshock. The following dosages of Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection have been suggested by various authors:
3 mg/kg of body weight per 24 hours by constant intravenous
infusion after an initial intravenous injection of 20 mg
2 to 6 mg/kg of body weight as a single intravenous injection
40 mg initially followed by repeat intravenous injection every 4 to
40 mg initially followed by repeat intravenous injection every 2 to
1 mg/kg of body weight as a single intravenous injection
Administration of high dose corticosteroid therapy should be continued only until the patient's condition has stabilized and usually notlonger than 48 to 72 hours.
Although adverse reactions associated with high dose, short term corticosteroid therapy are uncommon, peptic ulceration may occur.
Cerebral EdemaDexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection is generally administered initially in a dosage of 10 mg intravenously followed by fourmg every six hours intramuscularly until the symptoms of cerebral edema subside. Response is usually noted within 12 to 24 hoursand dosage may be reduced after two to four days and gradually discontinued over a period of five to seven days. For palliativemanagement of patients with recurrent or inoperable brain tumors, maintenance therapy with two mg two or three times a day may beeffective.
Acute Allergic DisordersIn acute, self-limited allergic disorders or acute exacerbations of chronic allergic disorders the following dosage schedule combiningparenteral and oral therapy is suggested:
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection, 4 mg/mL -First day
, 1 or 2 mL (4 or 8 mg) intramuscularly.
Dexamethasone tablets, 0.75 mg - Second and third days
, 4 tablets in two divided doses each day; fourth day
2 tablets in two divideddoses; fifth and sixth days
, 1 tablet each day;seventh day
, no treatment; eighth day
, follow-up visit.
This schedule is designed to ensure adequate therapy during acute episodes, while minimizing the risk of overdosage in chronic cases.
Intra-articular, Intralesional and Soft Tissue Injection
Intra-articular, intralesional and soft tissue injections are generally employed when the affected joints or areas are limited to one or
two sites. Dosage and frequency of injection varies depending on the condition and the site of injection. The usual dose is from 0.2
to 6 mg. The frequency usually ranges from once every three to five days to once every two to three weeks. Frequent intra-articularinjection may result in damage to joint tissues. Some of the usual single doses are:
Site of Injection
Amount of Dexamethasone Phosphate (mg)
Small Joints (e.g., Interphalangeal, Temporomandibular)
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection is particularly recommended for use in conjunction with one of the less soluble, longer-
acting steroids for intra-articular and soft tissue injection.Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration,
whenever the solution and container permit.
Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate Injection, USP is available in the following package:10 mg/mL
1 mL DOSETTE vials packaged in 25s (NDC 0641-0367-25)
Protect from light: Keep covered in carton until time of use. Store at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F), excursions permitted to 15°-30°C
(59°-86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Avoid freezing. Do not use if solution is hazy or has a precipitate. Do not
*1. Cavanagh, D.; Singh, K. B.: Endotoxin shock in pregnancy and abortion, in: "Corticosteroids in the Treatment of Shock",
Schumer, W.; Nyhus, L. M., Editors, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 1970, pp. 86-96.
2. Dietzman, R. H.; Ersek, R. A.; Bloch, J. M.; Lillehei, R. C.: High-output, low-resistance, gram-negative septic shock in man,
: 691-700, Dec. 1969.
3. Frank, E.: Clinical observations in shock and management (In: Shields, T. F., ed.: Symposium on current concepts and management
of shock), J. Maine Med. Ass. 59
: 195-200, Oct. 1968.
4. Oaks, W. W.; Cohen, H. E.: Endotoxin shock in the geriatric patient, Geriat. 22
: 120-130, Mar. 1967.
5. Schumer, W.; Nyhus, L. M.: Corticosteroid effect on biochemical parameters of human oligemic shock, Arch. Surg. 100
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