How dexamethasone for leukemia works
For years, dexamethasone for leukemia has been used, though many people don’t realize it. Dexamethasone is synonymous with skin infections and other inflammations on the skin. It is most commonly seen as a topical cream that is used on psoriasis and such. However, it has been a critical part of leukemia treatment for many years.
It’s important to know what dexamethasone actually is. It is in the group of glucocorticoids, also known as corticosteroids. They have a cytotoxic effect which has to do with how dexamethasone is capable of suppressing the immune system. When the dexamethasone goes into the body, it can inhibit the cytokine production and also alter gene responses.
Leukemia has to do with the way cells change in the body. They will continue to change, which will in turn make a person sicker. With the use of the corticosteroids, it is possible to prevent such changes and therefore prevent the leukemia from getting any worse.
When the medication is used, it is also going to increase the glucose consumption and release certain chemicals in the body that will also stop the production of others. This allows the body to heal in certain areas and prevent certain genes from shifting. Many of the genes will become unresponsive to the leukemia and that is good news.
Dexamethasone for leukemia is used as an injection. Doctors will determine what dosage to use, though when treating the illness, many are aggressive and therefore use the class IV version, which is the 0.25% amount. There is a smaller amount, which is 0.05% and may be used in conjunction with another corticosteroid or may be used in treating juvenile leukemia.
The dexamethasone is not always used and much of it has to do with a person’s entire patient history. There are going to be issues where the medication is going to be counterproductive with some of the other medication being used. In some instances, it can also cause reactions within the body, which is to be avoided at all costs.
Doctors are not going to make the decision lightly. The corticosteroid has been very effective because of what it is able to do with the cancer cells, but it is not going to be used if it is going to cause major problems. A patient also has to be on the lookout for various side effects caused by the injection. This can include rashes on the skin, blurred vision, and even folliculitis, which is an infection of the hair follicles.
Leukemia and dexamethasone have a long history together and it is likely that their partnership will continue because of the efficacy of the injections and all that it is capable of doing inside the body.