“They should only be given for seven to 10 days at a time.” Using a two-week study cycle with a two-week washout period, researchers administered dexamethasone sodium phosphate (DSP, a more soluble formulation of DXM), to six Thoroughbred horses (ages 6-10).
Dexamethasone commonly is used in horses to treat allergic reactions such as respiratory allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (heaves), hives, itching and inflammatory diseases including arthritis.
Dexamethasone Powder may be administered or the parenteral dose repeated as needed. Equine – DEXAMETHASONE INJECTION 2 mg/mL – 2.5 to 5 mg intravenously or intramuscularly. Dexamethasone Powder may be administered or the parenteral dose repeated as needed.
Potential Side Effects of Dexamethasone and Other Steroids
The anabolic steroids function to increase protein synthesis by the body and build muscle mass. The drugs are designed to be used in the treatment and rehabilitation of chronic debilitating disease processes.
Inflammatory and degradative enzymes that destroy normal joint environments can be altered by use of hyaluronic acid (HA) and corticosteroids injected into the joint. The combination of the two has been scientifically proven to have a more thorough and lasting effect than HA alone or corticosteroids alone.
Dexamethasone is injected into a muscle, or given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. Dexamethasone is usually given by injection only if you are unable to take the medicine by mouth.
Dexamethasone is a long-acting glucocorticoid with a half-life of 36 to 72 hours, and is 6 times more potent than prednisone. Prednisone is shorter acting, with a half-life of 18 to 36 hours.
Adults—At first, 0.75 to 9 milligrams (mg) per day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. At first, 0.02 to 0.3 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day, divided and taken 3 or 4 times a day.
Your veterinarian can prescribe several medications to calm an allergic response. Dexamethasone or other corticosteroids are effective for treating severe reactions. If your horse is only moderately itchy or has hives, antihistamines can be useful.
(Note: Your vet might also recommend expectorants and antibiotics, as in Stage 2 heaves.) Inhaled corticosteriods. Like their oral counterparts, these medications help control inflammation and reduce airway thickening and mucus production. Inhaled bronchodilators.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION:
For intramuscular or intravenous injection. Horses, cattle : 5 – 15 ml per animal. Calves, foals, sheep, goats, pigs : 1 – 2.5 ml per animal. Cats, dogs : 0.1 – 1 ml per 10 kg bodyweight.
This medicine may cause changes in mood or behavior for some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have depression, mood swings, a false or unusual sense of well-being, trouble sleeping, or personality changes while taking this medicine.
Dexamethasone should be tapered in a manner individualized to the patient. One of these taper schedules is recommended: Slow taper: Start with 4 mg twice daily for 7 days, then 2 mg twice daily for 7 days, then 1 mg twice daily for 7 days, then 1 mg once daily for 7 days.