Dyspnea - How dexamethasone can make matters worse

Dyspnea - How dexamethasone can make matters worse

People with breathing difficulties (Dyspnea) are often given the steroid Dexamethasone, but new research shows it doesn't work and can even make matters worse.


We recently covered readers’ questions on Dexamethasone showing that this steroid did not have any direct but often claimed anti-cancer benefits (1), and also has research clearly showing that it increases blood sugar levels (2). Concerns over an increased risk of diabetes have been raised.


Now, there is new research (3) in The Lancet showing that high dose Dexamethasone, often used to relieve breathing problems (dyspnea) in patients, simply doesn’t work! 


Worse, its use was linked to increased levels of adverse events. 


Dexamethasone is routinely given wIth chemotherapy to cancer patients. This is questionable because it increases blood sugar. Cancers such as leukaemia have been shown to increase their aggression with heightened blood sugar.


Moreover, dexamethasone is a steroid and approved as an anti-inflammatory, yet we have seen it used in patients to improve their appetite with disastrous effects.


Go to: Horror Story





  1. Dexametasone - your questions answered
  2. Effect of dexamethasone on oral glucose tolerance in healthy adults; Endocri Pract,  2010 Sep-Oct;16(5):770-7.
  3. High dose Dexamethasone fails to improve Dyspnea in cancer patients  - the Lancet


  Approved by the Medical Board.  Click Here



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