Side Effects of Dexamethasone
The use of dexamethasone may also produce side effects, most of which are temporary in nature. The most common side effects of dexamethasone include:
• increased appetite and weight gain - Some patients may experience weight gain due to dexamethasone stimulating the appetite.
• fluid retention and swelling in the ankles, feet, hands, or face - This medication can cause bloating in the extremities and the abdominal region. Less commonly, swelling in the chest can cause breathing problems.
• indigestion and heartburn - Since dexamethasone can irritate the stomach, patients are advised to take the medication with milk or food.
• insomnia - Some people may have trouble falling asleep or may experience disruptions in sleep patterns.
• elevated blood glucose levels - Particularly worrisome for people with diabetes, this side effect of dexamethasone use should be promptly addressed and monitored by a doctor.
• delayed healing of wounds - Bodily wounds that occur from injuries or surgeries may take longer to heal.
Side effects of dexamethasone that develop less frequently include sudden shifts in mood, dizziness, skin rashes and headaches. Rare but more serious side effects include bone fractures, fluctuations in heart rhythm, and bleeding or ulcers in the stomach.