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Q. Will my raised blood sugar level due to Dexamethasone for COVID-19 come back to normal?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 10, 2021

Hi doctor,

I was having COVID-19 for the last two weeks and was having Dexamethasone 4 mg twice daily for ten days, and my sugar levels are rising since these ten days, around 200 mg/dL to 280 mg/dL. Even I have tried some medicines for that. Now I came to know that Dexamethasone can cause cataracts and glaucoma in the eye. Do I need to get my eye pressure checked? Once I stop Dexamethasone, will my eye pressure and sugar level come back to normal? Will I be permanently diabetic? Is the effect of Dexamethasone permanent, or will it go away once I stop taking it? Is Dexamethasone 8 mg per day dose for ten days more than optimal?

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thanks for the query. I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have been suffering from the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) infection. You have been taking Dexamethasone for the last ten days, and blood sugar has risen. Dexamethasone can increase blood sugar levels as its side effect. It can cause cataracts and glaucoma. But it never causes cataracts or glaucoma in every person who takes this medication for their treatment purpose. Your blood sugar levels will return to normal after you stop taking this medication. So you do not have to worry. You do not need any medical treatment for Dexamethasone-induced hyperglycemia or raised blood sugar level. If you have complications while taking this medication, it will automatically subside once you stop the medicine. Take care. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Thanks for the reply, doctor,

Is it likely that I have already developed glaucoma and cataract? Can I get it tested? Are ten days of Dexamethasone dosage enough to get an eye disease? Should I get my eye pressure checked? I think my sugar level will come back to normal, but I am not sure about eye disease as it can be severe and lead to blindness? Also, my doctor gave me medicine for ten days, and they will finish by today. Can Dexamethasone be stopped suddenly? I want to contact my physician to ask regarding this, but due to the COVID-19 situation, all the appointments are fully booked. I need your kind suggestions.

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Do not worry. Dexamethasone may cause cataracts or glaucoma when used for an extended period, like for years. Short-term use of Dexamethasone may not cause raised intraocular pressure. If you have a doubt, then you can check your intraocular pressure with an opthalmologist. Dexamethasone should be stopped gradually by tapering its dose for those who take it for an extended period because sudden withdrawal may cause unpleasant withdrawal effects. But you have taken this medication only for short-term use, like ten days. So, you should follow your doctor's instructions and stop accordingly. Take care. In case of any other query, ask me.

Thanks for the reply, doctor,

Do I need to get an eye test tomorrow or this week? Maybe I am anxious. Does Dexamethasone taken for ten days not lead to any eye disease? Is there any evidence that after ten days of Dexamethasone, someone got glaucoma? Please comment.

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You are slightly anxious. Do not worry. Taking Dexamethasone for ten days will not increase eye pressure. The typical time frame for a patient to exhibit intraocular pressure with Dexamethasone is three to six weeks. There are many articles on the internet. You can find one. As I have already mentioned, cataracts, glaucoma, or raised intraocular pressure may develop in the case of long-term use of Dexamethasone only. Also, not every patient who uses Dexamethasone for an extended period will develop cataracts, glaucoma, or raised intraocular pressure. If you are still anxious, then you can check your eye with an opthalmologist for cataract, glaucoma, or increased intraocular pressure. Take care, in case of any other query, knock me, and I will try to reply to you further.

Thanks for the reply, doctor,

I have another question, does Dexamethasone have any effect on sexual desire or erection? I have sexual dysfunction and a loss of interest in sex. Will it come back to normal, or is it due to weakness?

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com

Thanks for the query. Steroids can increase or decrease sexual desire in some people. It can increase or lower testosterone levels. Reduced testosterone level can cause erectile dysfunction, testicular shrinkage, loss of libido, etc., but it is temporary. Stopping Dexamethasone will bring back your normal sexual function over time without any medical treatment. Take care. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Hello doctor,

It is my seventeenth day since I got COVID-19. I got tested today, and I am still COVID-19 positive. I am worried about why my test is still positive. For the last four days, I do not have any fever or cough and feeling normal. I am feeling fine. Now that my test is positive, does it mean I have re-infection? Is the virus still replicating in my body? Should I get HRCT and blood test again? Last time my CRP was 10 mg/L, and IL- 6 was 3 pg/mL.

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Thanks for the query. I can understand your concern. Do not worry, as some remnants of the dead virus may be present in the system so that the test can become positive due to the presence of the dead virus's remnants. As you have already completed 14 days, you can easily meet anyone because you will not spread COVID-19 infection to others. Though it is positive now, it has lost its ability to spread the disease to others. So it does not indicate that your COVID-19 infection is ongoing. As you feel better now, you are free from COVID-19 infection with no fever and no cough. You can repeat your desired investigations five days later. Take care. In case of any other query, knock me.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

So can I meet anyone and that too without a mask? I mean, I am worried about meeting my other family members as I do not want to pass on the virus to them. Seventeen days have passed now. I do not have any cough or fever now for the last four to five days. I do not have any symptoms, and I feel fine now except for some weakness. So is this the dead virus that shows positive in the test? Should I not test again and move on?

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You can meet anyone without a mask. You will not spread or pass the COVID-19 infection to your family. Yes, there are some remnants of dead viruses that may cause the COVID-19 test false positive. They will not be able to infect or spread again to other people. If you want, you can repeat the test again but after ten to fourteen days. Weakness is very common in viral infections. If you are not a known diabetic, then you can take glucose mixed water routinely. Glucose will provide you instant energy as it can increase oxygen saturation in the body. Take care. If any other queries, knock me, and I will try to reply to you further.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

Today I am taking Vitamin C and Zinc supplements and no other medicine. I have little gout-like pain in my right feet, maybe due to high uric acid levels. Can I take Voveran SR 100? I hope it will not affect any other problem.

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

You do not have to take any additional medications besides Vitamin C and Zinc. For your gout pain, you can take painkillers like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aceclofenac or Diclofenac, etc. You can take Voveran SR that contains Diclofenac which belongs to the group of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS, used to relieve pain. As you are free from COVID-19 infection, you can take any painkillers like Voveran SR. There are no restrictions to take Voveran SR. Take it after a meal or with antiulcerants to avoid any gastric upset or irritation. And Voveran SR will not interact with other medications or affect your health. You can take this medication without any tension. Take care. In case of any further queries, ask me.


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