Deflazacort is used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD; a progressive disease in which the muscles do not function properly) in adults and children 2 years of age and older. Deflazacort is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. It works by reducing inflammation (swelling) and by changing the way the immune system works.
Side Effects Of Deflazacort
Deflazacort may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- thin, fragile skin
- red or purple blotches or lines under the skin
- increased hair growth
- bulging eyes
- irregular or absent menstrual periods
- slowed healing of cuts and bruises
- changes in the way fat are spread around the body
- weak muscles
- joint pain
- frequent urination during the daytime
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- increased appetite
- upset stomach
- back pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- sore throat, fever, chills, cough, or other signs of infection
- eye pain, redness, or tearing
- changes in vision
- swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- shortness of breath
- sudden weight gain
- peeling or blistering skin
- stomach pain
- extreme changes in mood changes in personality
- inappropriate happiness
- ongoing pain that begins in the stomach area, but may spread to the back
Deflazacort may slow growth and development in children. Your child’s doctor will watch his or her growth carefully. Talk to your child’s doctor about the risks of giving deflazacort to your child.
People who use deflazacort for a long time may develop glaucoma or cataracts. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using deflazacort and how often you should have your eyes examined during your treatment.
Deflazacort may increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication.
Deflazacort may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking deflazacort:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to deflazacort, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in deflazacort tablets or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol), clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac), efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla), fluconazole (Diflucan), diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia, Diltzac, Taztia), medications for diabetes including insulin, phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater), thyroid medications, and verapamil (Calan, in Tarka, Verelan). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with deflazacort, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had hepatitis B (HBV, a virus that infects the liver and may cause severe liver damage); herpes eye infection (a type of eye infection that causes a sore on the eyelid or eye surface); cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye); glaucoma (an eye disease); high blood pressure; heart failure; a recent heart attack; diabetes; emotional problems, depression, or other types of mental illness; myasthenia gravis (a condition in which the muscles become weak); osteoporosis (a condition in which the bones become weak and fragile and can break easily); pheochromocytoma (tumor on a small gland near the kidneys); ulcers; a blood clot in your legs, lungs, or eyes; or liver, kidney, heart, intestinal, adrenal, or thyroid disease. Also tell your doctor if you have any type of untreated bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infection anywhere in your body.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking deflazacort, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking deflazacort.
- check with your doctor to see if you need to receive any vaccinations. It is important to have all vaccines appropriate for your age before beginning your treatment with deflazacort. Do not have any vaccinations during your treatment without talking to your doctor.
- you should know that deflazacort may decrease your ability to fight infection and may prevent you from developing symptoms if you get an infection. Stay away from people who are sick and wash your hands often while you are taking this medication. Be sure to avoid people who have chickenpox or measles. Call your doctor immediately if you think you may have been around someone who had chickenpox or measles.
Dosage Of Deflazacort
Deflazacort comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take deflazacort at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take deflazacort exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you cannot swallow the tablet whole, you may crush the tablet and mix it with applesauce. The mixture should be taken immediately.
Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use the measuring device to measure the dose of deflazacort and slowly add the dose to 3 to 4 ounces (90 to 120 mL) of milk or fruit juice and take immediately. Do not mix deflazacort suspension with grapefruit juice.
Your doctor may need to change your dose of deflazacort if you experience unusual stress on your body such as surgery, illness, or infection. Tell your doctor if your symptoms improve or get worse or if you get sick or have any changes in your health during your treatment.
Do not stop taking deflazacort without talking to your doctor. Stopping the drug abruptly may cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, an upset stomach, vomiting, drowsiness, confusion, headache, fever, joint and muscle pain, peeling skin, and weight loss. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually to allow your body to adjust before stopping the drug completely. Watch for these side effects if you are gradually decreasing your dose and after you stop taking the tablets or oral suspension. If these problems occur, call your doctor immediately.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will check your blood pressure regularly and order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to deflazacort.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking deflazacort.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.