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High Dose Dexamethasone

I've searched the forum but can only see reference to using dexamethasone as a substitute for prednisolone. Has anyone been prescribed a short, sharp, high dose of dexamethasone to try and increase their platelet count prior to an operation or procedure? If so did it :

a) increase your platelets - how quickly and by how much
b) cause any side effects

The reason I'm asking is that as a result of Crohn's I've ended up with a liver problem for which I need a biopsy (12th December) to show the extent of the damage. As a side effect of the liver problem my platelet count is low - 75 (75,000 as measured in US) and the UK clinical limit for a conventional liver biopsy is 80. Hence the need for the dexamethasone.

(This post isn't the right place to explain the whole story of how I got from Crohn's to my present condition but I've drawn a diagram that hopefully explains it - http://goo.gl/blozU)
...and the hiccups last night stopped at half past one in the morning.

Last dose taken this morning but two more side effects - taste buds dulled; eyes aching. Wonder how long they will last now I've stopped taking the pills.


Staff member
Sorry for the late response highlandsrock.

Was looking up some studies and found one that said a low does was ineffective but then found another showing that a high dose for a short period can be affective.

"Four patients had an excellent response with platelet counts that increased to above 150 x 10(9)/l. Seven patients had a good response with a platelet count that increased to between 50 and 150 x 10(9)/l (median 121 x 10(9)/l). Two patients were resistant both to DEX and IV IgG." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10420075 Separate condition I know but they wanted the outcome to be the same where the platelet count needed to go up.

I've never taken it before. I didn't see hiccups listed as a side effect on the site I was looking at. http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/drug-info/dexamethasone.aspx It mentions eye pain as a more serious side effect and to contact your doctor within 24 hours of noticing it. Didn't see dulled taste buds listed either. It says that side effects should go away soon after stopping the medication but didn't give an exact time frame.
Thanks Crabby

Can always rely on you! I took my last dose this morning so I was hoping that I wouldn't get any symptoms tonight but the hiccups are starting again. Will find out if the platelets are up on Monday. If they are still low then the haematologist wants a back up infusion standing by during the procedure. Must email my consultant and make sure it's all in place, just in case.