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Drug Info

  • Drug Name: Dexamethasone
  • Common Name: Azium®, Voren®, Pet-Derm®, Dex-a-Vet®, Dexameth-a-Vet®
  • Drug Type: Glucocorticoid
  • Used For: Inflammation
  • Species: Dogs, Cats
  • Administered: Tablets, Injectable
  • How Dispensed: Prescription only
  • Available Forms: 0.25 mg, 0.75 mg, 1 mg, 1.5 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg & 6 mg tablets
  • FDA Approved: Yes

General Description

Dexamethasone is many times more potent than other anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressing drugs including hydrocortisone and prednisone. It is often mixed with other drugs to treat difficult ear, eye, and skin infections. It reaches every system in the body and therefore is used to treat many disorders:

  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Dermatologic diseases
  • Hematologic disorders
  • Neoplasia (Tumor growth)
  • Nervous system disease
  • Emergency shock
  • General inflammation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Nephrotic syndrome

Dexamethasone is also used in some diagnostic tests, including the Low-Dose Dexamethasone Suppression test (LDDS). This test involves an initial baseline blood sample, an injection of the Dexamethasone, and two subsequent blood draws 4 and 8 hours later. Dexamethasone will suppress the amount of cortisol in a healthy dog, and the cortisol levels will be less than the level before the injection. In a Cushing’s syndrome dog, the levels will be elevated due to an excessive amount of cortisol being produced.


How It Works


Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid known as a glucocorticoid. Corticosteroids are meant to resemble a naturally occurring hormone produced in the adrenal cortex, cortisol. Corticosteroids act on the immune system by blocking the production of substances that trigger inflammatory and immune responses.


Storage Information

Keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature unless otherwise noted. Keep injection protected from light.

Missed Dose?


Give the dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Do not give your pet two doses at once.

Side Effects and Drug Reactions

Dexamethasone may result in these side effects:

  • Change in disposition
  • Increase in seizure activity
  • Increased appetite
  • Increase in food and water intake
  • Increased urination (though less common in Dexamaethasone than in other steroids)
  • Increased susceptibility for viral and bacterial infections
  • Panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulceration of the digestive tract
  • Lethargy

Use caution and discuss with you veterinarian before administering Dexamethasone to animals with these conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Hypertension
  • Systemic infections
  • Heart problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Ulcers of the intestines
  • Kidney disease
  • Pregnancy

Dexamethasone may react with these drugs:

  • Amphotericin
  • Aspirin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Digoxin
  • Daunorubicin HCl
  • Doxorubicin HCl
  • Insulin
  • Mitotane
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin sodium
  • Rifampin
  • Rimadyl

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