Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Ferrets

Dexamethasone

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, David Perpinan

Introduction

Name

  • Dexamethasone.

Class of drug

  • Long acting corticosteroid.

Description

Chemical name

  • (8S,9R,10S,11S,13S,14S,16R,17R)-9-fluoro-11,17-dihydroxy-17-(2-hydroxyacetyl)-10,13,16-trimethyl-6,7,8,11,12,14,15,16-octahydrocyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one.

Molecular formula

  • C22H29FO5.

Molecular weight

  • 392.46.

Physical properties

  • Odorless, white to practically white, crystalline powder.
  • Practically insoluble in water and sparingly soluble in alcohol.
  • Dexamethasone sodium phosphate occurs as an odorless or having a slight odor, white to slightly yellow, hygroscopic powder:
    • 1 g is soluble in about 2 mL of water.
    • It is slightly soluble in alcohol.

Storage requirements

  • Store at room temperature; dexamethasone is heat labile.
  • Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection should be protected from light.
  • Dexamethasone tablets should be stored in well-closed containers.

Uses

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Indications

  • Corticoids are commonly used in ferrets to treat a number of conditions:
    • Hypoglycemia caused by insulinoma.
    • Inflammatory reaction in cases of systemic coronavirus.
    • Intestinal inflammation in cases of inflammatory bowel disease and eosinophilic gastroenteritis.
    • Anaphylactic shock in cases of vaccine reactions.
    • Used in combination with other drugs to treat cases of lymphoma (prednisone is preferred).
    • Used to treat suspected autoimmune conditions such as disseminated myofascitis.

Administration

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Pharmacokinetics

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Precautions

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Interactions

with other drugs

Amphotericin B or potassium-depleting diuretics (furosemide, thiazides)
  • Increased risk of hypokalemia with these drugs.
Insulin
  • May antagonize effects of insulin.
Phenobarbital or phenytoin
  • These drugs may accelerate the metabolism of glucocorticoids.
Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs
  • Increased risk of gastrointestinal ulceration if used concurrently.

with diagnostic tests

Urine glucose levels
  • May be increased.
Liver
  • Elevated liver enzymes.

Adverse Reactions

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Meredith A (2015) Ed Small Animal Formulary. Part B: Exotic Pets. 9th edn. BSAVA, Quedgeley, Gloucester, UK. pp 338.
  • Carpenter J W & Marion C J (2013) Exotic Animal Formulary. 4th edn. Saunders, Philadelphia.
  • Plumb D C (2008) Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook. 6th edn. Blackwell Publishing, Iowa, USA. pp 1120.

Organisation(s)

  • National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines. Website: www.noahcompendium.co.uk.

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