Dexamethasone and Cancer
The Food and Drug Administration has approved dexamethasone for the treatment of many different conditions. These uses include:
- Symptomatic relief of certain cancers, such as metastatic brain tumors, leukemia, and lymphoma
- Treatment of nervous system conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, brain swelling (cerebral edema) associated with a brain tumor, and head injury
- Treatment of eye conditions, such as uveitis, temporal arteritis, keratitis, and other inflammatory conditions of the eye
- Treatment of inflammation from otitis externa (an external ear infection, sometimes called "swimmer's ear")
- Treatment of high urine protein (proteinuria) or to increase urine production in kidney problems or systemic lupus erythematosus.
When used to treat cancer, dexamethasone is generally used for a few weeks until symptoms improve or until other products can manage symptoms. It should only be used for a longer period with your healthcare provider's approval and supervision.
(Click What Is Dexamethasone Used For? to learn more about the conditions this drug can treat. This article explains how dexamethasone works and also addresses the medication's use in children and older adults, as well as "off-label" uses.)