A Quickie Comment on Dexamethasone

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

As regular readers know, I take dexamethasone—aka the Evil Dex—twice a week as part of my treatment for multiple myeloma. The side effects are different for everyone, but they run the gamut from bad to hideous. In my case, the worst part is that it messes with my sleep pretty badly, but there are a few other bad side effects too. On the positive side, it keeps me alive, so there’s that.

Given my extensive experience with dex, I’ve gotten a lot of queries about why President Trump’s doctors would give him such a terrible drug unless he was in seriously poor health. The answer is simple: in general, the bad effects of dex only show up after you’ve taken it for a few days or weeks at least. If you take it only once or twice, it reduces inflammation like any good corticosteroid but most likely doesn’t have any seriously ill effects.

So that’s that. Giving Trump a dose or two of dex is a pretty easy decision: it’s helpful for people with temporary breathing problems and is generally well tolerated in short courses. It might mean that Trump’s condition is worse than we’ve been told, but more likely it doesn’t mean anything special. Who knows? Maybe Trump heard about it on Fox News and demanded some—although there’s never any telling for sure with this crowd since they lie about everything.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaire owners wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaire owners wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate