|Type of medicine||Corticosteroid|
Deflazacort can be used to treat a wide range of allergic and inflammatory conditions, including severe asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. It belongs to a group of medicines known as corticosteroids. These are also sometimes referred to as 'steroids'.
Certain cells in the body release chemicals which cause inflammation. Deflazacort works by stopping the release of these chemicals, therefore reducing inflammation.
Before taking deflazacort
Before taking deflazacort make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you are currently unwell, or if you or anyone you are in close contact with has chickenpox, measles or shingles.
- If you have ever had tuberculosis (TB).
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have recently had a heart attack.
- If you have liver, kidney or heart problems.
- If you have, or anyone in your family has, diabetes mellitus or glaucoma (raised pressure in the eye).
- If you have osteoporosis (weakened bones).
- If you have any problems with your eyes.
- If you, or any of your close family, have ever had mental health problems.
- If you have thyroid problems.
- If you have epilepsy.
- If you have had a stomach ulcer.
- If you have ever experienced muscle problems after taking steroids.
- If you have had any problems with blood clots in your legs or lungs.
- If you have bowel problems such as diverticulitis or ulcerative colitis.
- If you have myasthenia gravis (a muscle-weakening disorder).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or to any other medicine.
How to take deflazacort
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet and be careful to follow the printed instructions you have been given with these tablets.
- Take deflazacort exactly as directed by your doctor.
- Take your dose of deflazacort in the morning, unless you have been told otherwise by your doctor.
- Do not take indigestion remedies (such as antacids) at the same time as taking these tablets. Leave at least 2 hours between.
- Try to take deflazacort at the same time each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose in which case skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up.
- If you have been taking deflazacort for more than 3 weeks it is important that you do not stop taking it suddenly without speaking to your doctor first. Your dose will need to be reduced gradually, as stopping suddenly may cause problems.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Long courses of deflazacort can make you more likely to catch infections; therefore, if you come into contact with anyone who has, or who thinks they may have, measles, shingles or chickenpox, you must see your doctor as soon as possible.
- If you need to take deflazacort for more than 3 weeks you will be given a steroid treatment card. This is a blue card with details about your dose and length of treatment. It also has some important information for you about taking steroids. Read the information on this card carefully and carry the card with you at all times.
- Before having any kind of medical treatment or surgery, including dental or emergency treatment or any medical tests, tell the doctor, dentist or surgeon you are taking deflazacort and show them your steroid treatment card. Your dose may need increasing during treatment.
- While taking deflazacort do not have any vaccinations without speaking to your doctor first.
- Keep any regular doctor's appointments so your progress can be monitored.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with deflazacort.
Can deflazacort cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Feeling sick, abdominal pain or indigestion||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods|
|Dizziness||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert|
|Tiredness, feeling weak, skin changes, and menstrual changes in women||If any of these become troublesome, speak to your doctor|
|Mood or behavioural changes such as nightmares, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and suicidal thoughts||It is important that you speak to your doctor if you notice any worrying changes in your mood, or if you have disturbing thoughts about harming yourself|
Long-term use of high doses of deflazacort may cause 'Cushing's syndrome' which is where the face becomes round, red and puffy, and stretch marks or acne can develop. Also thinning of the bones or skin, and overgrowth of hair can occur over a long period of time. These side-effects usually return to normal once the treatment has been stopped.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store deflazacort
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 58th Edition (September 2009) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Calcort® 6 mg; Manufacturer's PIL, Calcort® 6 mg, Sanofi-Aventis, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2009, accessed February 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen|
|Last Checked: 21/10/2010||Document ID: 3763 Version: 22||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.