Why is this drug prescribed?
Deltasone, a steroid drug, is used to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms in a variety of disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis and severe cases of asthma. It may be given to treat primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency (lack of sufficient adrenal hormone in the body). Deltasone is used in treating all of the following: Abnormal adrenal gland development Allergic conditions (severe) Blood disorders Certain cancers (along with other drugs) Diseases of the connective tissue including systemic lupus erythematosus Eye diseases of various kinds Flare-ups of multiple sclerosis Fluid retention due to "nephrotic syndrome" (a condition in which damage to the kidneys causes protein to be lost in the urine) Lung diseases, including tuberculosis Meningitis (inflamed membranes around the brain) Prevention of organ rejection Rheumatoid arthritis and related disorders Severe flare-ups of ulcerative colitis or enteritis (inflammation of the intestines) Skin diseases Thyroid gland inflammation Trichinosis (with complications) Deltasone lowers your resistance to infections and can make them harder to treat. Deltasone may also mask some of the signs of an infection, making it difficult for your doctor to diagnose the actual problem.
How should you take this medication?
When stopping Deltasone treatment, tapering off is better than quitting abruptly. Your doctor will probably have you decrease the dosage very gradually over a period of days or weeks. You should take Deltasone with food to avoid stomach upset. Patients on long-term Deltasone therapy should wear or carry identification. If you miss a dose of Deltasone, take it as soon as you remember. If you don't remember until the next day, skip the one you missed. Long-term high doses of Deltasone one may produce Cushing's syndrome (see "Side Effects" section). Although no specific information is available regarding short-term over dosage, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Deltasone one, seek medical attention immediately. Store at room temperature.
What side effects may occur?
Deltasone may cause euphoria, insomnia, mood changes, personality changes, psychotic behavior, or severe depression. It may worsen any existing emotional instability. At a high dosage, Deltasone may cause fluid retention and high blood pressure. If this happens, you may need a low-salt diet and a potassium supplement. Other potential side effects from Deltasone include: Bone fractures, bruising, bulging eyes, congestive heart failure, convulsions, distended abdomen, face redness, glaucoma, headache, hives and other allergic-type reactions, increased pressure inside eyes or skull, inflamed esophagus or pancreas, irregular menstrual periods, muscle weakness or disease, osteoporosis, peptic ulcer, poor healing of wounds, stunted growth (in children), sweating, thin, fragile skin, vertigo.
Do not get a smallpox vaccination or any other immunization while you are taking Deltasone. The vaccination might not "take," and could do harm to the nervous system. Deltasone may reactivate a dormant case of tuberculosis. If you have inactive TB and must take Deltasone for an extended time, you should be given anti-TB medication as well. If you have an under active thyroid gland or cirrhosis of the liver, your doctor will probably need to prescribe Deltasone for you at a lower-than-average dosage. If you have an eye infection caused by the herpes simplex virus, Deltasone should be used with great caution; there is a potential danger that the cornea will become perforated. A few people taking Deltasone develop Kaposi's sarcoma, a form of cancer; it may disappear when the drug is stopped. ) Diseases such as chickenpox or measles can be very serious or even fatal in both children and adults who are taking this drug. Try to avoid exposure to these diseases.
What are some possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication?
Deltasone may decrease your carbohydrate tolerance or activate a latent case of diabetes. If you are already taking insulin or oral medication for diabetes, make sure your doctor knows this; you may need an increased dosage while you are being treated with Deltasone. If you have a blood-clotting disorder caused by a vitamin K deficiency and are taking Deltasone, check with your doctor before you use aspirin. You may be at risk of convulsions if you take the immunosuppressant drug. If Deltasone is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered.
What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Deltasone should be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding only if clearly needed and only if the benefit outweighs the potential risks to the child.
What is the recommended dosage?
Dosage is determined by the condition being treated and your response to the drug. Typical starting doses can range from 5 milligrams to 60 milligrams a day. Once you respond to the drug, your doctor will lower the dose gradually to the minimum effective amount. For treatment of acute attacks of multiple sclerosis, doses of as much as 200 milligrams per day may be given for a week, followed by 80 mg every other day for a month. Although no specific information is available regarding short-term over dosage of Deltasone, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Deltasone, seek medical attention immediately.