Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not A Hunka Burning Love!

Decadron, is a drug that can be used for many things. It is a steriod and is often times used as an anti-inflammatory, however it can be used during chemotherapy as well as to help control post-operative nausea.

There are several things I have found in common with people who are on decadron. We monitor their blood sugar, even if they are not diabetic. It can increase their blood sugar during their hospital stay and require small doses of insulin to correct this. It is important to keep the blood sugars down to promote healing. Also, these patients seem to be very hungry most of the time.

Something else I have found in several patients is that when it is given IVP (intraveneous push) it causes perineal burning. For those of you who are not familiar with the term perineal, according to websters it is: the area in front of the anus extending to the fourchette of the vulva in the female and to the scrotum in the male.

After doing some investigating, it appears this is happening when this medication is pushed into the IV too quickly. It should be pushed 1ml over 2-3 minutes. That is a long time if you are the one pushing the medication, especially if you have other patients to give meds to. However, let me tell you, it is a good thing to do, take your time and use all 3 minutes. I have seen women cry over this burning sensation it causes. I have yet to see or hear of a man complain about this. I have had women state it felt like they were on fire, felt like they were going to be incontinent (even if they had a foley), and that the burning just plain hurt. It has NEVER been described to me as a "good" burning sensation. I have watched this medication be pushed and as it is going into the IV, I have seen the patients facial expression change immediately. Suddenly they have this very confused look on their face. They want to ask what is wrong, what is happening, however they are a little embarassed to say it. Who wants to reveal to their nurse that their vagina is burning!! Especially if the reason they are in the hospital has absolutely nothing to do with their vagina!! However, they become forced to say something when they feel like they want to run and jump on a block of ice just to stop the sensation.

So I guess this is more of an educational post. Look it up, google it, remember what you read and next time you have to push Decadron, be mindful. . . .take the full time and then some. This is NOT a normal 1ml/min drug!



  1. That's funny I've only had men tell me about this. We don't push big doses of Dex where I work we hang it pb.

  2. Interesting, I did not know this. Poor patients, as you stated I can only imagine their confusion. Thanks for the information. :)