A Quickie Comment on Dexamethasone

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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.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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