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
- Muscle weakness
- Poor wound healing
- Prolonged use of the drug may cause suppression of growth among infants and children
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 firstname.lastname@example.org,” 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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