Deflazacort is a steroid that is used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy in adults and children at least 2 years old.
Deflazacort is not a cure for muscular dystrophy, but deflazacort may improve muscle strength and slow the progression of disability.
Deflazacort may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
You may take deflazacort with or without food.
You may need to take multiple tablets of different strengths to make up your correct dose. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
If you cannot swallow a tablet whole, crush it and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.
Deflazacort doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers). Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.
Deflazacort can weaken (suppress) your immune system, and you may get an infection more easily. If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests. Your vision and bone mineral density may also need to be checked.
Tell your doctor if you have recently traveled. Certain infections are more common in certain parts of the world, and you may have been exposed during travel.
If you've ever had hepatitis B or if you are a carrier of hepatitis B, using deflazacort can cause this virus to become active or get worse. You may need frequent liver function tests.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using deflazacort.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
You should not stop using deflazacort suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose. You may need to restart deflazacort if you are under stress or if you have a medical emergency.
You should not use deflazacort if you are allergic to it.
Deflazacort should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Deflazacort oral suspension (liquid) contains an ingredient that can cause serious side effects or death in very young or premature babies.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
You should be current on all vaccines before you start taking deflazacort. Tell your doctor if you have recently received a vaccine or if you are scheduled for a booster dose.
Long-term use of steroids may lead to bone loss (osteoporosis), especially if you smoke, if you do not exercise, if you do not get enough vitamin D or calcium in your diet, or if you have a family history of osteoporosis.
Taking deflazacort during early pregnancy may increase the risk of cleft lip and palate in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Taking deflazacort at any time during pregnancy may affect adrenal gland hormones in the newborn baby. If you have taken deflazacort during pregnancy, tell your doctor if your baby has symptoms such as dry skin, weakness, feeding problems, or vomiting.
It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.
While taking deflazacort and for at least 4 to 6 weeks before you start taking it: Do not receive a "live" vaccine or you could develop a serious infection.
Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medicine.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with deflazacort and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking deflazacort.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
Some side effects may be more likely if you use deflazacort for a long period of time.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
Deflazacort can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using deflazacort.
Common side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth. You can crush and mix it with applesauce or swallow the tablets whole. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.