Pharmacotherapeutic group: Corticosteroids for systemic use, plain; Glucocorticoids
ATC Vet Code: QH02AB02
Dexamethasone is a potent synthetic glucocorticoid which is 30-35 times as potent as cortisol as an anti-inflammatory agent. The mechanism by which corticosterioids exert their effect at the cellular level remains unclear however several mechanisms have been proposed. There is evidence that corticosteroids are able to de-repress transcription of DNA to mRNA in the target cell nucleus. Other mechanisms proposed for the action of corticosteroids include boosting of cellular levels of cyclic AMP made possible by steroid inhibition of phosphodiesterases which would otherwise metabolise cyclic AMP. Some of the anti-inflammatory activity of corticosteroids could be due to inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by suppression of the release of arachidonate, the prostaglandin precursor, from cell membranes.