effects of dexamethasone

am shortly starting a chemo regime including this steroid. Am really worried about possible sleep disturbance as a side effect as we have a very lively 2 year old and i need good sleep to have the energy to keep going with him all day!!! Anyone had any experience or got any advice in this area?

Hi Pompeyjane

Wondering if you are from the area, I live just opposite A + E.

The dexamethasone did make me a bit hyper and couldnt sleep so my GP gave me valium for the 3 nights of days 2 to 4 of the cycle. Was fine for the rest of the time. I tried to manage without the steroid but was so so sick and had to take it.

I hope you have lots of familyfriend support just in case you are a bit tired.

Best wishes Judy x


I had dexamethasone 8mg to start with then went up to 20mg, I think the problem is it won’t just be this that could cause sleep disturbance as the whole cocktail of drug can.

You need to make sure you sleep at ever opportunity, when he does. Mention your concerns to your onc

good luck with the chemo

rhi xx

Hi poppyjane,

I finished my chemo in december. This included very high dosages of dex, as i had an allergic reaction to tax.

I have two young children - aged 4 & 5 - both boys so very active!! and to be honest the dex didnt stop me sleeping at all. The chemo nurse told me to take before 4 pm and it worked for me. Think everyones side effects are different.

I did become very tired tho twds the end of my chemo, so would sit at table playing thomas, watch videos or get them to cuddle up to me whilst reading a book on the settee. I would plan the day, and my husband would get all the toys ready prior to going to work.

When i knew i was going to be really bad i arranged with friends to help, just for a couple of hours so i could get more sleep. Sometimes you just need to ask for help.

Think forward planning is the best thing when you are going thru this will young children, and always ask (and take) any meds that the hospital give to combat the se’s…

Hope this helps, and good luck!


Hi there
most people seem fine on the steroids but I seem super sensitive to them. I barely sleep for the first 4-5 days + have even tried halving the dose but I’m still restless. I end up popping Valium + sleepin tabs all nite long coz i also have a very lively 21month old little boy. He is a terrible sleeper, in our bed ev ery nite so once he wakes me up I often lie there for hours :frowning:
I’m lucky in that my mum is an amazing support + comes + helps alot.
Depending on your chemo, you may be able to cope on a reduced steroid dose. Not advised if u suffer nausea though + steroids essential if u having taxotere? But u might be fine anyway. My advice is to take both doses before lunchtime.
All the best
tina x

Hi Pompyjane,

Most people tolerate dexamethasone fine, in fact it is a very good anti-sickness drug too. I didn’t, it made me very jittery, paranoid, so they stopped it after the first chemo. I had epirubicin/ cyclophospimide and taxotere (sorry spelling bad) without any steroid. As a result I was quite sick with the former, less so with the latter. The chemo will make you feel pretty unwell in some shape or form, for anything from a day to a week. You will take to your bed at some stage each cycle. I would give the steriods a go, and if it does not agree with you then you can always ask Onc to miss them out.

If you do get tired, get someone else to run around with your little one and sit and watch. That is what I did, I had a 20 month old when I started my chemo. She is 3.5 now!!

All the best,