An injectable suspension of dexamethasone. Dexamethasone sodium phosphate is resorbed rapidly from the injection site, thus ensuring a rapid onset of activity. Dexamethasone phenylpropionate is resorbed more slowly from the injection site, thus ensuring a prolonged duration of activity.
Dexafort is in Aqueous, white to off-white suspension for injection
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate: 1.32 mg,
Dexamethasone phenylpropionate: 2.67 mg
Cats, Cattle, Dogs and Horses
Indications for use of Dexafort
An anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agent in horses, cattle, dogs and cats, and for the treatment of primary ketosis in cattle. The product can also be used to induce parturition in cattle.
Cattle – milk 144 hours (6 days), meat 63 days
50 ml vials
Horses, cattle 1 ml/50 kg
Dogs, cats 0.5 ml/10 kg
For the treatment of primary ketosis in cattle (acetonaemia)
A dose of 5-10 ml dependent on the size of the cow. Since blood sugar levels rise rapidly through the action of dexamethasone sodium phosphate and are maintained at a raised level for several days, the product is particularly useful in cases that present late and there is seldom a need to repeat the dose.
In the case of cows in poor bodily condition, to avoid prolonged stimulation of gluconeogenesis at the expense of body fat reserves, use a quick-acting corticosteroid only.
For the induction of parturition
Dexafort may be used to induce parturition in cattle in the last trimester and before day 260 of pregnancy. Where this is required e.g. in the cases of trauma to the cow or possibly because the date of calving is not known a single dose of 10 ml followed 6–12 days later by an injection of a short acting corticosteroid, is recommended. In the majority of cases parturition will be induced within 3 days of the second injection.
Except in emergency situations the product should not be used in animals suffering from diabetes, chronic nephritis, renal disease, congestive heart failure, osteoporosis and in viral infections during the viraemic stage.
1. Anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, are known to exert a wide range of side-effects. Whilst single high doses are generally well tolerated, they may induce severe side-effects in long term use and when esters possessing a long duration of action are administered. Dosage in medium to long term use should therefore generally be kept to the minimum necessary to control clinical signs.
2. Steroids themselves, during treatment, may cause Cushingoid symptoms involving significant alteration of fat, carbohydrate, protein and mineral metabolism, e.g. redistribution of body fat, muscle weakness and wastage and osteoporosis may result.
3. During therapy effective doses suppress the hypothalamo-pituitreal-adrenal axis. Following cessation of treatment, signs of adrenal insufficiency extending to adrenocortical atrophy can arise and this may render the animal unable to deal adequately with stressful situations. Consideration should therefore be given to means of minimising problems of adrenal insufficiency following the withdrawal of treatment, e.g. dosing to coincide with the time of the endogenous cortisol peak (i.e. in the morning with regard to dogs and the evening re cats) and a gradual reduction of dosage (for further discussion see standard texts).
4. Systematically administered corticosteroids may cause polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia, particularly during the early stages of therapy. Some corticosteroids may cause sodium and water retention and hypokalaemia in long term use. Systemic corticosteroids have caused deposition of calcium in the skin (calcinosis cutis).
5. Apart from the use of Dexafort to induce parturition in cattle, corticosteroids are not recommended for use in pregnant animals. Administration in early pregnancy is known to have caused foetal abnormalities in laboratory animals. Administration in late pregnancy may cause early parturition or abortion.
6. If the product is used for induction of parturition in cattle a high incidence of retained placentae may be experienced and possible subsequent metritis and/or subfertility.
7. Corticosteroids may delay wound healing and the immunosuppressant actions may weaken resistance to or exacerbate existing infections. In the presence of bacterial infection, antibacterial drug cover is usually required when steroids are used. In the presence of viral infections, steroids may worsen or hasten the progress of the disease.
8. Systemic corticosteroid therapy is generally contra-indicated in patients with renal disease and diabetes mellitus. Gastro-intestinal ulceration has been reported in animals treated with corticosteroids and g.i.t. ulceration may be exacerbated by steroids in patients given non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and in animals with spinal cord trauma. Steroids may cause enlargement of the liver (hepatomegaly) with increased serum hepatic enzymes.
9. Care should be taken when the product is used for the treatment of laminitis in horses, where there is the possibility that such treatment could worsen the condition. The use of the product in horses for other conditions could induce laminitis and careful observations during the treatment period should be made.
10. Use of the product in lactating cows may cause a reduction in milk yield.