How to take Unidex
- Before starting the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from ins >
What is Unidex, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Unidex is a synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are naturally-occurring chemicals produced by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys. Corticosteroids affect the function of many cells within the body and suppress the immune system. Corticosteroids also block inflammation and are used in a wide variety of inflammatory diseases affecting many organs. The FDA approved Unidex in October 1958.
Avoid getting vaccines when taking Unidex. Certain vaccines may not work as well for people taking this drug. Also, the drug may make some live vaccines stronger. This raises the risk of side effects from the vaccine.
Unidex 0.1 mg/kg, 0.2 mg/kg, or placebo was administered to 1000 patients undergoing microvascular decompression surgery for facial spasm. The group which was administered 0.2 mg/kg of Unidex experienced a statistically significant higher incidence of postoperative cognitive dysfunction compared to the placebo and lower dose of Unidex. Cognitive decline included measures of attention, concentration, learning, and memory . Another study assessed cognitive functioning in young adults and adolescents who were exposed to 2–9 weeks of antenatal betamethasone compared to patients matched for age, sex, and gestational age at birth, without steroid exposure. Scores in tests of attention and speed were significantly lower in patients exposed to more than 2 courses of steroids in utero (p 15 c].
Unidex may increase your blood glucose. If you take diabetes drugs, your doctor may need to change your dose. Examples of these drugs include:
- amylin analogs, such as:
Digoxin is used to treat heart rhythm problems or heart failure. Taking this drug with Unidex could increase your risk of irregular heartbeats caused by low potassium levels. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.)
Your doctor will not prescribe Unidex if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body since the medicine may worsen the infection.
If you are allergic to Unidex, you need to alert your doctor.
While taking this medicine, do not get any vaccines without your doctor's permission. The medicine may affect the way the vaccine works.
If someone in your household has had a live virus vaccine (measles, mumps, nasal flu vaccine), you should avoid contact with them while taking Decadron. Ask your doctor for details.
You should not use Unidex if you have a fungal infection anywhere in your body.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, and all the medicines you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by steroid use, and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.
Your dosage may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you during treatment.
Unidex can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.
Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.
All vaccines may not work as well while you are taking a steroid. Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are taking this medicine.
Do not stop using Unidex suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.
For people with certain health conditions
For people with infections. Unidex may make a systemic fungal infection worse. (Systemic means it affects the whole body, not just one part.) This drug shouldn’t be used if you’re taking medication to treat a systemic fungal infection. Also, Unidex may hide the signs of a non-fungal infection.
For people with congestive heart failure. Unidex can increase sodium levels, edema (swelling), and potassium loss. This can make your heart failure worse. Before taking this drug, talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe for you.
For people with high blood pressure. Unidex can increase sodium levels and edema (swelling). This can increase your blood pressure. Before taking this drug, talk to your doctor about whether it’s safe for you.
For people with peptic ulcers. Unidex can increase the risk of stomach or intestinal bleeding and ulcers. If you have peptic ulcers or other conditions of the intestines, talk to your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you. Conditions of the intestines include:
- ulcerative colitis
For people with osteoporosis. Unidex decreases bone formation. It also increases bone resorption (breakdown of bone). As a result, it raises the risk of osteoporosis (bone thinning). The risk is higher for people already at an increased risk of osteoporosis. These include postmenopausal women.
For people with hyperthyroidism. This drug is removed from the body more quickly than normal. Your doctor may adjust your dose of this drug based on your condition.
For people with eye problems. Long-term use of Unidex may cause eye problems such as cataracts or glaucoma. Your risk is higher if you already have eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, or increased pressure in the eye.
For people with tuberculosis. If you have latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, Unidex can re-activate the disease. If you test positive for tuberculosis, talk with your doctor about whether taking this drug is safe for you.
For people with recent history of heart attack. If you’ve recently had a heart attack, use of Unidex may lead to a tear in your heart muscle. Before you start this drug, be sure your doctor knows you’ve had a recent heart attack.
For people with diabetes. Unidex can increase blood sugar levels. As a result, your doctor may change the dose of your antidiabetic drugs.
For people with myasthenia gravis (MG). If you have MG, using Unidex with certain drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease can cause severe weakness. Examples of these drugs include memantine, rivastigmine, and donepezil. If possible, wait at least 24 hours after taking these drugs to start Unidex therapy.
When used with Unidex, certain drugs used to treat fungal infections can increase the level of Unidex in your blood. This can raise your risk of side effects. Examples of these drugs include:
Amphotericin B is another drug used to treat fungal infections. Using this drug with Unidex raises your risk of low potassium levels. (Potassium is a mineral that helps your nerves, muscles, and organs work normally.) This can cause muscle cramps, weakness, tiredness, and an irregular heartbeat.