Anti-inflammatory effects: dexamethasone reduces inflammation by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, which are involved in the inflammatory response. It also reduces the migration of inflammatory cells to the site of inflammation.
Immunosuppressive effects: dexamethasone suppresses the immune system by reducing the production of immune cells, including T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells. This effect is useful in treating autoimmune diseases and preventing rejection in transplant patients.
Anti-allergic effects: dexamethasone reduces allergic reactions by inhibiting the release of histamine and other inflammatory mediators from mast cells and basophils.
Antitumor effects: dexamethasone is sometimes used in the treatment of certain types of cancer, as it can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells and inhibit angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors).
Metabolic effects: dexamethasone can affect the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It increases blood glucose levels by promoting gluconeogenesis (the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources) and reducing glucose uptake by peripheral tissues. It also increases protein catabolism and fat deposition in certain regions of the body.
The spectrum of dexamethasone includes a wide range of medical conditions, including:
Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Allergic conditions, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema.
Organ transplant rejection and graft-versus-host disease.
Certain types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma and leukemia.
Neurological disorders, such as cerebral edema and meningitis.
Endocrine disorders, such as adrenal insufficiency and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Dermatological conditions, such as psoriasis and dermatitis.