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My husband had them as pretreatment around chemo to reduce the chance of an adverse reaction, so that was a very good thing. During the recent hospitalization, they were used as part of a fight against pneumonia. I have read on here of some people taking them to reduce swelling in the brain when they have mets, so there is another good thing.

On the bad side, as hubby got better, the decadron hit him more and more like speed. He mowed a lot of yard at the time, big appetite, but little sleep, but it was temporary. Also, "steroids" were named as a strong possiblity as contributing to the development of his cataract.

I guess like a lot of things, they have their place in moderation.


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My first chemo appt I took decadron the day before and the day after, I also received it IV the day of chemo. After the first treatment, I reacted to the decadron and only had it IV after that (no pills the day before or day after).

I got a horrible rash from it, was nasty or grumpy and bounced off the walls....then again I'm super sensitive to alot of meds.

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We were very grateful for decadron when my husband was dx. He had horrible headaches for weeks before diagnosis. The initial MRI showed massive amounts of edema. In less than 24 hrs. after starting decadron, the headaches stopped and have never come back. He continued the decadron during WBR. I think he was only take 8 mg. a day, but I really don't remember. He then tapered off.

After chemo and chest radiation, and an allergic reaction to Taxotere, he didn't have an ounce of energy for about 6 weeks. When the onc learned he was sleeping just about 24/7, he gave him a lose dose of decadron to "kick-start" him, and it worked. It think it was only 2 mg. a day. I think he took it for about a month before tapering off.

I've heard of some pretty big daily doses of decadron from others on here, like 12 & 16 mg. a day for long periods of time, and I always think it sounds like too much for too long, but I'm not the doctor.


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I was given Decadron the day before, the day of and the day after receiving Taxotere. I had no problems with it since it was just for those 3 days. I was then put on it while undergoing whole brain radiation for about a month and really did not like them. My face puffed up, I was hungry alot, couldn't sleep, my mind would not stop working and my son says I was "mean".

Hope I never have to go back on them, however I probably will since I have brain mets.

Good luck with yours,


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Oh, yeah, that's right. What TAnn said. Ditto all that. I forgot my husband got decadron before and after chemo treatments, too.

He also had trouble sleeping, pee'd a lot, and TALKED A LOT and kept me awake because he couldn't sleep!!!! :roll: I don't remember him eating a lot like some of the others, but that's probably because he had so much other stuff going on. Who knows! He actually lost a lot of weight during treatment time.


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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Does not sound like a lot of bad or long term problems. Funny when I was on carboplatin I was pumped till late the first night. Now on taxol, when they give it to me at the clinic my tounge gets all thick and I get all loopy but am not wired.

Peggy when I gathered some chest X-rays I noticed I had a tumor in my left lung as well as the one in my right. It wasn't untill I got home that I understood they are mirrored and all the little spots were arrows. Probably shouldn't have read them at all, much less at 75 MPH. Hope your as bad at reading stuff as I. Good luck on Friday


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Hi Bo in Winnemucca!

EVERYTHING that everyone has said above is true to the 10th power for me. I think the more steroids you have had in your life, the more side effects you have and the less powerfully the medicine works for you, too. So, it is best to use it as only when very necessary; in other words, when nothing else will do the job. It is the most powerful anti-inflammatory that there is . Our own bodies keep us supplied with a steady dose of steroids.

I had to laugh at Peggy's description of her husband. Boy that is me. That is why I am here in the wee hours in the morning hitting the keys hard and chatfully!! I cancelled my holiday Thanksgiving dinner with family-like friends, because I knew that I would enter and remain a social faux paux due to the inability to close my mouth and I was uncomfortable with my own wandering and racing thoughts.

Unfortunately, I am the steroid queen.

First time was for arthritis.

Injections into the knees multiple times.

Injections into the shoulders.

Injection into the spinal cord when I had a closed spine injury.

Decadron made me absolutely pyschotic. I will never take that one ever again. Either that or it was a mix of decadron and multi pharmaceuticals.

That was for the spine injury.

I have been on high dose prednisone for asthma. Works great. Short bursts and a taper....usually no more than 10 days. I have prednisone in my daily powder inhaler to try to help control inflammation in my lungs.

With the chemo, more steroid to prevent allergic reaction to the chemo. I hope that you mentioned your thick tongue to your chemo nurse...that sounds somewhat suspect that you had a reaction to something...

And with radiation pneumonitis. And more with asthma and pneumonitis. And more with radiation pneumonitis. It gets very "old" after about one day. I just want to sleep and relax, which is my normal, cat-like style. I feel like Painting something...anything....and I don't even like to paint! I want to clean something really really really well. I want to organize a silverware drawer to perfection. :roll:

See? It makes you whacked out. Like on speed or something...

Steroids are a beautiful thing. They have saved my life so many times with my asthma, in particular. But they come with a price tag. Used too frequently or improperly, they can do irreversible damage to your body too. They are not a drug to be taken foolheartedly. I did develop cataracts on both eyes before 40. Moon face, big gutt, huge appetite, muscle wasting, bone deterioration, kidney assault. Red face. Hot flashes. Anger outbursts.

Also, they cause me to have dramatic mood swings. Laughing one second and crying the next. Yikes! It is difficult for me to get through all of this and hope to be off them one day soon. I have been on them since before Thanksgiving and did the taper. But, I have had to go back to the high dose again for at least another 3 weeks. I suspect much longer.

Mention that tongue to your nurse, if you haven't already, okay, Bo?

All the best to your healing Journey.

Cindi o'h Oh yeah! See that red-faced snarl up there in the upper left hand corner??? That is me on Prednisone. When I am off it, I will post something more fitting to me...like a lady bug or something a little less threatening...if my mom saw that, she would tell me to wipe that look off my face! :oops:

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Hi Bo!

Like others, my Dad got a dose of steroids before his chemo tx. The nurses said it was to ward off any bad reactions. My Dad also got very thick tongued during his chemo. Are you by any chance getting an IV dose of Benadryl before your chemo? Dad got IV Benadryl to avoid an allergic reaction. That is what the nurses said made him loopy and thick tongued.

My Dad has been on 16mg of Decadron for brain mets. All I can say is that it has been a God send for us. Dad went from being dizzy, sleeping almost 24/7 to now being able to get out and about a little. Now, he is unable to sleep at night due to the steroids. We got a Rx for a sleeping pill yesterday. We will see how it worked for him. He had also lost about 20 pounds in seven weeks. With the steroids, he is once again eating. (like CRAZY!! which is a good thing)

I think that steroids DO have a place in this journey. The main thing that we were warned about is that if you take high doses for too long, you are at risk for your muscles wasting away. I don't think that the amount of steroids you get before a chemo treatment are enough to do a lot of harm. (such as muscle wasting, etc.) (although I'm not a doctor..........just going on what our doctor told us)

In my thoughts and prayers~~~


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The steroids counteract some chemo side effect, which I can not remember now. My current chemo requires the use of steroids (in with the chemo). I have a BIG proplem crashing and burning when the steroids wear of.....nausea and extremely tired. To prevent this I am weaned off (Half a dose for two additional days...really helps).

Side effects....can't sleep...hyper...HUNGRY all the time..the hunger is the hardest part.

Overall not bad


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BoBennett Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:53 pm Post subject: Steroids


I’ve noticed time to rime negative thoughts on the steroids given, I’m assuming they are for pretreatment for chemo, I’ve never thought to ask my Onc. I have a little understanding that steroids are not necessarily a good thing. Anyone have any thoughts on this.


Bo :

I can address the steroid issue as it pertains to chemo. The steroid ( usu. Decadron ) is routinely used in combination with the antinauseant to potentiate the antinauseant effect. But, as in my wife's case, you may not need the steroid at all IF your n & v is nil and the steroid isn't needed for any other purpose. Obviously, check with your dr. about that. My wife is on the same chemo drugs that you were on. For the first few months of chemo she routinely received her antinauseant med with Decadron IV. About three months ago they stopped giving her the IV with antinauseant and Decadron and started giving her a 1 mg. tablet of Kytril prior to chemo ( carbo / Gemzar ). No nausea or vomiting. Just as effective as the IV regimen was and, in her case, the mystery swelling around her eyes disappeared shortly after stopping the Decadron. BTW, Taxol has a relatively low emetogenic rating similar to Gemzar. Carboplatin is more emetogenic.

Good luck.

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My bout with steroids was very negative; I dont remember much about the decadron, only used it twice before I got pneumonia infection from the Taxotere. Imediately I was on IV antibiotics and PREDNISONE. At the end of that week, lung was cleared up, but I found myself in the local emergency room crying like a baby. Emotional basket case! Some Lorazepam finally calmed me down for awhile.

If that wasnt bad enuff, I went the next week for a spinal epidural injection...guess what.... more steroids! few days later, back to emergency room in middle of the nite. Im now stuck on constant Lorazepam till the double whammy of steroids wears off, which may be awhile since the spinal injection is meant to linger and ease the spinal pain. sigh.

Anyway, steroid reaction for me was anxiety, despair, depression and insomnia...didnt get 1-2 hrs. sleep for over a week. Thatlll make a grown man cry, and cry....couldnt stop. heh No more steroids for me...now on my allergic list. Thank G. for Lorazepam till It dissipates.

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