Decadron in PACU

  1. So... I'm new to PACU and I was just wondering if any of you more experienced nurses have ever used decadron to help control pain.

    Recently, a coworker of mine (who has MANY years of PACU and ICU experience and has been a wonderful mentor) had a patient whose pain was difficult to get under control. She had given dilaudid, morphine, fentanyl, ativan, and demerol and the patient was still very much in pain. In other areas that I have worked, it is common to give a steroid along with opiate analgesics to help control pain, decadron being the most commonly used. Since decadron is on our standing orders for nausea/vomiting, I suggested she try giving some to see if it would help control the pain. She dismissed my suggestion (after asking for my opinion) and I'm left wondering why.

    Does anyone have some insight?
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   RNJK09
    I wouldn't think of using Decadron specifically as a pain reliever; it does seem, theoretically, that the steroid effect would decrease the inflammation, therefore allowing all the other narcotics to do their work.
  4. by   meandragonbrett
    Yes,dexamethasone can help relieve pain in the immediate post-operative period.Just have to be aware of other issues t hat can be caused with using a steroid in the periop arena including hyperglycemia.