FDA warns vs unsupervised use of Dexamethasone drug linked to COVID-19 treatment

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday warned the public against the use of steroid drug Dexamethasone without a prescription, following reports on its potential to treat novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the FDA reminded the public that misuse or unsupervised chronic use of dexamethasone may lead to serious adverse reactions such as:

  • Immunosuppression or impairment of the body’s ability to fight infection
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor wound healing
  • Prolonged use of the drug may cause suppression of growth among infants and children
  • Obesity

If stopped abruptly, it may cause withdrawal symptoms such as hypotension, shock and coma.

“Dexamethasone is a steroid drug and is prescribed by a licensed physician based on the patient’s medical condition,” the FDA said.

“All are enjoined to report the dispense and/or use of the drug without a valid prescription to FDA Center for Drug Regulation and Research e-mail at cdrr.od@fda.gov.ph,” it added.

The agency also urged those using the drug to report any adverse reactions through this link.

The FDA warned that violators will be dealt with legal actions.

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