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Dexamethasone
Last updated: 08/04/2021
(Also known as: fluormethylprednisolone)

GENERAL INFORMATION
Description
Used as an anti-inflammatory drug in a variety of animals including, for example, the control of CNS inflammation in dogs and cats and for the treatment of primary bovine ketosis.
Availability status
-
Introduction & key dates
-
Examples of species treated
Cattle, Horses, Lamas, Elephants, Pigs, Dogs, Cats
Chemical structure
Isomerism
Isomeric
Chemical formula
C₂₂H₂₉FO₅
Canonical SMILES
CC1CC2C3CCC4=CC(=O)C=CC4(C3(C(CC2(C1(C(=O)CO)O)C)O)F)C
Isomeric SMILES
C[C@@H]1C[C@H]2[C@@H]3CCC4=CC(=O)C=C[C@@]4([C@]3([C@H](C[C@@]2([C@]1(C(=O)CO)O)C)O)F)C
International Chemical Identifier key (InChIKey)
UREBDLICKHMUKA-CXSFZGCWSA-N
International Chemical Identifier (InChI)
InChI=1S/C22H29FO5/c1-12-8-16-15-5-4-13-9-14(25)6-7-19(13,2)21(15,23)17(26)10-20(16,3)22(12,28)18(27)11-24/h6-7,9,12,15-17,24,26,28H,4-5,8,10-11H2,1-3H3/t12-,15+,16+,17+,19+,20+,21+,22+/m1/s1
2D structure diagram/image available?
Yes
General status
Veterinary substance type
Anti-inflammatory
Substance group
Corticosteroid
Minimum active substance purity
-
Known relevant impurities
-
Substance origin
Synthetic
Mode of action
Unbound dexamethasone crosses cell membranes and binds to specific cytoplasmic receptors leading to a reduction in inflammation
Molecular targets
[Glucocorticoid receptor, agonist], [Nuclear receptor 0B1, stimulator], [Annexin A1, stimulator], [Nitric oxide synthase, inducible, negative modulator]
CAS RN
50-02-2
EC number
200-003-9
CIPAC number
-
US EPA chemical code
-
PubChem CID
-
ATCvet Code
QA01AC02; QC05AA09; QD07AB19; QH02AB02; QR01AD03; QS01BA01; QS02BA06; QS03BA01
Therapeutic Class
Alimentary tract & metabolism; Cardiovascular system; Dematologicals; Systemic hormone preparations excluding sex hormones & insulins; Respiratory system; Sensory organs
Controlled Drug?
No
Regulation 37/2010 MRL Classification
Allowed substance (Table 1 Bovine, Caprine, Porcine, Equidae)
Molecular mass
392.46
PIN (Preferred Identification Name)
-
IUPAC name
8S,9R,10S,11S,13S,14S,16R,17R)-9- fluoro-11,17-dihydroxy-17-(2-hydroxyacetyl)-10,13,16- trimethyl-6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17- dodecahydro-3H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one
CAS name
1-dehydro-16α-methyl-9α-fluorohydrocortisone
Other status information
-
Relevant Environmental Water Quality Standards
-
Physical state
White crystalline powder
Formulations
Property
Product
Manufacturer
Authorisation Route
UK Legal Class
Example products using this active
Colvasone 0.2% w/v Solution for injection Norbrook Labs UK National authorisation Prescription only medicine to be authorised by a veterinarian (POM-V)
Dexafort suspension for injection Intervet Uk Ltd UK National authorisation Prescription only medicine to be authorised by a veterinarian (POM-V)
Rapidexon 2 mg/ml solution for injection Eurovet Animal Health B.V. EU Mutually recognised procedure Prescription only medicine to be authorised by a veterinarian (POM-V)
Voren Suspension for Injection 1mg/ml Boehringer B.V. UK National authorisation Prescription only medicine to be authorised by a veterinarian (POM-V)
Formulation and application details
Available in a variety of formulations including injections, creams, sprays and aerosols
ENVIRONMENTAL FATE
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Solubility - In water at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
89
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Moderate
Solubility - In organic solvents at 20 °C (mg l⁻¹)
1000
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Ethanol
-
Melting point (°C)
262
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
-
Boiling point (°C)
568
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Degradation point (°C)
- - -
Flashpoint (°C)
279.5
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7, 20 °C
P
6.76 X 1001 Calculated -
Log P
1.83
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Low
Bulk density (g ml⁻¹)
1.32
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Dissociation constant pKa) at 25 °C
- - -
-
Vapour pressure at 20 °C (mPa)
1.18 X 10-08
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Low volatility
Henry's law constant at 25 °C (Pa m³ mol⁻¹)
- - -
Maximum UV-vis absorption L mol⁻¹ cm⁻¹
Contains chromophores that absorb at wavelengths >290nm
CA3 CA = Medical and toxicological databases and information systems e.g. TOXNET (click here )
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Surface tension (mN m⁻¹)
- - -
Refractive Index
1.591
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Degradation
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Soil degradation (days) (aerobic)
DT₅₀ (typical)
- - -
DT₅₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₅₀ (field)
- - -
DT₉₀ (lab at 20 °C)
- - -
DT₉₀ (field)
- - -
Note
-
Manure DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Aqueous photolysis DT₅₀ (days) at pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Aqueous hydrolysis DT₅₀ (days) at 20 °C and pH 7
Value
- - -
Note
-
Water-sediment DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Water phase only DT₅₀ (days)
- - -
Soil adsorption and mobility
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Linear
Kd
-
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Moderately mobile
Koc
240
Notes and range
-
Freundlich
Kf
- - -
Kfoc
-
1/n
-
Notes and range
-
pH sensitivity
-
Fate indices
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
GUS leaching potential index
- - -
Other known metabolites
Metabolite name and reference
Aliases
Formation medium / Rate
Estimated maximum occurrence fraction
Metabolising enzymes
6-beta-hydroxydexamethasone - Human (Liver) - Cytochrome P450 3A4
ECOTOXICOLOGY
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Bio-concentration factor
BCF (l kg⁻¹)
- - -
CT₅₀ (days)
- -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 3000
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Rat
Low
Mammals - Short term dietary NOEL
(mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
(ppm diet)
- -
Mammals - Chronic 21d NOAEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Acute LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Birds - Short term dietary (LC₅₀/LD₅₀)
- - -
Birds - Chronic 21d NOEL (mg kg⁻¹ bw d⁻¹)
- - -
Fish - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Fish - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Acute 48 hour EC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic invertebrates - Chronic 21 day NOEC (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic crustaceans - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Acute 96 hour LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, static, water (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Sediment dwelling organisms - Chronic 28 day NOEC, sediment (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Aquatic plants - Acute 7 day EC₅₀, biomass (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Non-target plants
- - -
- - -
Algae - Acute 72 hour EC₅₀, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Algae - Chronic 96 hour NOEC, growth (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Honeybees (Apis spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Unknown mode acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Bumblebees (Bombus spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
-
Mason bees (Osmia spp.)
Contact acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Oral acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg bee⁻¹)
- - -
Other pollinators (1)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Other pollinators (2)
Acute LD₅₀ (worst case from 24, 48 and 72 hour values - μg insect⁻¹)
- - -
Mode of exposure
-
Earthworms - Acute 14 day LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Earthworms - Chronic NOEC, reproduction (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Other soil macro-organisms
Acute LC₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Chronic NOEC (mg kg⁻¹)
- - -
Other arthropod (1)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
- - -
Other arthropod (2)
LR₅₀ g ha⁻¹
- - -
% Effect
- - -
Soil micro-organisms
- - -
Mesocosm study data
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
NOEAEC mg l⁻¹
- - -
HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION
General
Property
Value
Source; quality score; and other information
Interpretation
Threshold of Toxicological Concern (Cramer Class)
High (class III) - -
Mammals - Acute oral LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹)
> 3000
F4 F = U.S. EPA ECOTOX database / U.S. EPA pesticide fate database / Miscellaneous WHO documents (US EPA Databases Related to Pesticide Risk Assessment )
4 = Verified data
Rat
Low
Mammals - Dermal LD₅₀ (mg kg⁻¹ body weight)
- - -
Mammals - Inhalation LC₅₀ (mg l⁻¹)
- - -
Other Mammal toxicity endpoints
Intraperitoneal LD₅₀ = 54 mg kg⁻¹
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
-
Subcutaneous LD₅₀ = 14 mg kg⁻¹
V3 V = ChemID online databases / IPCS INCHEM (ChemID; IPCS INCHEM )
3 = Unverified data of known source
Rat
-
ADI - Acceptable Daily Intake (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
ARfD - Acute Reference Dose (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AAOEL - Acute Acceptable Operator Exposure Level (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
AOEL - Acceptable Operator Exposure Level - Systemic (mg kg⁻¹ bw day⁻¹)
- - -
Dermal penetration studies (%)
- - -
Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464
- - -
Exposure Routes
Public
-
Occupational
-
Elimination route and rate
Metablised and around 30% excreted in the urine within 4 days. Also excreted in human breast milk.
Q3 Q = Miscellaneous internet resources
3 = Unverified data of known source
-
Health issues
Specific human health issues
Carcinogen
Genotoxic
Endocrine disruptor
?Possibly, status not identified
A0 A = Chromosome aberration (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
B0 B = DNA damage/repair (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
C0 C = Gene mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
D0 D = Genome mutation (EFSA database)
0 = No data
;
E3 E = Unspecified genotoxicity type (miscellaneous data source)
3 = Negative
No data found
Reproduction / development effects Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor Neurotoxicant
Yes, known to cause a problem
No data found
Yes, known to cause a problem
Respiratory tract irritant Skin irritant Skin sensitiser
Yes, known to cause a problem
Yes, known to cause a problem
?Possibly, status not identified
Eye irritant Phototoxicant  
Yes, known to cause a problem
No data found  
General human health issues
May cause hypertension
May cause retinal toxicity, glaucoma & subcapsular cataract
May cause delayed wound healing, atrophy & skin fragility
Handling issues
Property
Value and interpretation
General
Emits toxic fumes of hydrogen fluoride when heated to decomposition
CLP classification 2013
-
EC Risk Classification
Carcinogen category 3: R40
Xn - Harmful: R20/21/22, R43
Xi - Irritant: R36/37/38
EC Safety Classification
S22, S26, S36, S37, S45
WHO Classification
None - not a ppp
UN Number
-
Waste disposal & packaging
-
TRANSLATIONS
Language
Name
English
dexamethasone
French
-
German
-
Danish
-
Italian
-
Spanish
dexametasona
Greek
-
Polish
-
Swedish
-
Hungarian
-
Dutch
-

Record last updated: 08/04/2021
Contact: aeru@herts.ac.uk
Please cite as: Lewis, K.A., Tzilivakis, J., Warner, D. and Green, A. (2016) An international database for pesticide risk assessments and management. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, 22(4), 1050-1064. DOI: 10.1080/10807039.2015.1133242