DEXAMETHASONE SODIUM PHOSPHATE- dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection, solution
Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection, USP is a water-soluble inorganic ester of dexamethasone which produces a rapid response even when injected intramuscularly.
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate, C22 H28 FNa2 O8 P, has a molecular weight of 516.41 and chemically is Pregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione, 9-fluoro-11,17-dihydroxy-16-methyl-21-(phosphonooxy)-, disodium salt, (11β,16α).
It occurs as a white to off-white powder, is exceedingly hygroscopic, is soluble in water and its solutions have a pH between 7.5 and 10.5. It has the following structural formula:
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection, USP is available in 4 mg/mL concentration.
Each mL of dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection USP, 4 mg/mL, contains 4.37 mg dexamethasone sodium phosphate, USP equivalent to 4 mg dexamethasone phosphate; 1 mg sodium sulfite; 10 mg benzyl alcohol (preservative); and water for injection (q.s.). Made isotonic with sodium citrate. pH adjusted with citric acid or sodium hydroxide.
Naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone), which also have salt-retaining properties, are used as replacement therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states. Their synthetic analogs are primarily used for their potent anti-inflammatory effects in disorders of many organ systems.
Glucocorticoids cause profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, they modify the body’s immune responses to diverse stimuli.
A. Intravenous or intramuscular administration. When oral therapy is not feasible and the strength, dosage form, and route of administration of the drug reasonably lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, those products labeled for intravenous or intramuscular use are indicated as follows:
1. Endocrine disorders. Primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy, mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance).
Acute adrenocortical insufficiency (hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice; mineralocorticoid supplementation may be necessary, particularly when synthetic analogs are used).
Preoperatively, and in the event of serious trauma or illness, in patients with known adrenal insufficiency or when adrenocortical reserve is doubtful.
Shock unresponsive to conventional therapy if adrenocortical insufficiency exists or is suspected.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Hypercalcemia associated with cancer.
2. Rheumatic disorders. As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:
Synovitis of osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy).
Acute and subacute bursitis.
Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis.
Acute gouty arthritis.
3. Collagen diseases. During an exacerbation or as maintenance therapy in selected cases of:
Systemic lupus erythematosus.
Acute rheumatic carditis.
4. Dermatologic diseases.
Severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome).
Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis.
Severe seborrheic dermatitis.
5. Allergic states. Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in:
Seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis.
Drug hypersensitivity reactions.
Urticarial transfusion reactions.
Acute noninfectious laryngeal edema (epinephrine is the drug of first
6. Ophthalmic diseases. Severe acute and chronic allergic and inflammatory processes involving the eye, such as:
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus.
Diffuse posterior uveitis and choroiditis.
Anterior segment inflammation.
Allergic corneal marginal ulcers.
7. Gastrointestinal diseases. To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in:
Ulcerative colitis (systemic therapy).
Regional enteritis (systemic therapy).
8. Respiratory diseases:
Fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy.
Loeffler’s syndrome not manageable by other means.
9. Hematologic disorders:
Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults (I.V. only; I.M. administration is contraindicated).
Secondary thrombocytopenia in adults.
Erythroblastopenia (RBC anemia).
Congenital (erythroid) hypoplastic anemia.
10. Neoplastic diseases. For palliative management of:
Leukemias and lymphomas in adults.
Acute leukemia of childhood.
11. Edematous states. To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in the nephrotic syndrome, without uremia, of the idiopathic type or that due to lupus erythematosus.
12. Nervous system.
Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis.
Tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used concurrently with appropriate anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy.
Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement.
Diagnostic testing of adrenocortical hyperfunction.
Cerebral edema of diverse etiologies in conjunction with adequate neurological evaluation and management.
B. Intra-articular or soft tissue administration. When the strength and dosage form of the drug lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, those products labeled for intra-articular or soft tissue administration are indicated as adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in:
Synovitis of osteoarthritis.
Acute and subacute bursitis.
Acute gouty arthritis.
Acute nonspecific tenosynovitis.
C. Intralesional administration. When the strength and dosage form of the drug lend the preparation to the treatment of the condition, those products labeled for intralesional administration are indicated for:
Localized hypertrophic, infiltrated, inflammatory lesions of:
lichen planus, psoriatic plaques, granuloma annulare, and lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis).
Discoid lupus erythematosus.
Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum.
They also may be useful in cystic tumors of an aponeurosis tendon (ganglia).
Systemic fungal infections.
Serious Neurologic Adverse Reactions with Epidural Administration
Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection of corticosteroids. Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke. These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy. The safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use.
In patients on corticosteroid therapy subject to any unusual stress, increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroids before, during and after the stressful situation is indicated. Corticosteroids may mask some signs of infection, and new infections may appear during their use. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used.
Prolonged use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to fungi or viruses.
Children who are on immunosuppressant drugs are more susceptible to infections than healthy children. Chickenpox and measles, for example, can have a more serious or even fatal course in children on immunosuppressant corticosteroids. In such children, or in adults who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. If exposed, therapy with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) or pooled intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), as appropriate, may be indicated. If chickenpox develops, treatment with antiviral agents may be considered.
Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.
Usage in Pregnancy
Since adequate human reproduction studies have not been done with corticosteroids, use of these drugs in pregnancy, nursing mothers or women of childbearing potential requires that the possible benefits of the drug be weighed against the potential hazards to the mother and embryo or fetus. Infants born of mothers who have received substantial doses of corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.
Average and large doses of cortisone or hydrocortisone can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Patients with a stressed myocardium should be observed carefully and the drug administered slowly since premature ventricular contractions may occur with rapid administration. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion.
While on corticosteroid therapy patients should not be vaccinated against smallpox.
Other immunization procedures should not be undertaken in patients who are on corticosteroids, especially in high doses, because of possible hazards of neurological complications and lack of antibody response.
The use of dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate anti-tuberculosis regimen.
If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.
Because rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving parenteral corticosteroid therapy, appropriate precautionary measures should be taken prior to administration, especially when the patient has a history of allergy to any drug.
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection contains sodium sulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. The overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in asthmatic than in nonasthmatic people.
Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, hormone therapy should be reinstituted. Since mineralocorticoid secretion may be impaired, salt and/or a mineralocorticoid should be administered concurrently.
There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids in patients with hypothyroidism and in those with cirrhosis.
Corticosteroids should be used cautiously in patients with ocular herpes simplex for fear of corneal perforation.
The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment, and when reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction must be gradual.
Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.
Aspirin should be used cautiously in conjunction with corticosteroids in hypoprothrombinemia.
Steroids should be used with caution in nonspecific ulcerative colitis, if there is a probability of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection, also in diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, active or latent peptic ulcer, renal insufficiency, hypertension, osteoporosis, and myasthenia gravis.
Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged corticosteroid therapy should be carefully followed.
Patients who are on immunosuppressant doses of corticosteroids should be warned to avoid exposure to chickenpox or measles and, if exposed, to obtain medical advice.
Intra-articular injection of a corticosteroid may produce systemic as well as local effects.
Appropriate examination of any joint fluid present is necessary to exclude a septic process.
A marked increase in pain accompanied by local swelling, further restriction of joint motion, fever, and malaise are suggestive of septic arthritis. If this complication occurs and the diagnosis of sepsis is confirmed, appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be instituted.
Local injection of a steroid into a previously infected joint is to be avoided. Corticosteroids should not be injected into unstable joints.
Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis they do not show that they affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect (see Dosage and Administration section).
Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.
Fluid and electrolyte disturbances:
Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients
Loss of muscle mass
Vertebral compression fractures
Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads
Pathologic fracture of long bones
Peptic ulcer with possible subsequent perforation and hemorrhage
Impaired wound healing
Thin fragile skin
May suppress reactions to skin tests
Petechiae and ecchymoses
Increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually after treatment
Posterior subcapsular cataracts
Increased intraocular pressure
Development of cushingoid state
Suppression of growth in children
Secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness, particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness
Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
Manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus
Increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetics
Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism
Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
Subcutaneous and cutaneous atrophy
Postinjection flare, following intra-articular use
Itching, burning, tingling in the ano-genital region
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Amneal Pharmaceuticals at 1-877-835-5472 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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