Effect of pretreatment dexamethasone on postendodontic pain

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2009 Nov;108(5):790-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tripleo.2009.05.014. Epub 2009 Sep 12.


Objective: This study evaluates the use of a preoperative single oral dose of dexamethasone for the prevention and control of postendodontic pain.

Study design: Forty-seven patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups: placebo and dexamethasone (4 mg). The medications were administered 1 hour before the start of endodontic treatment. Postoperative pain was assessed after 4, 12, 24, and 48 hours.

Results: Dexamethasone resulted in a statistically significant reduction in postendodontic pain at 4 and 12 hours (P < .05). However, no statistical difference (P > .05) was observed at 24 and 48 hours (Mann-Whitney test). The placebo group exhibited higher rescue medication intake (P < .05; Student t test). No side effects were reported for any of the medications used.

Conclusion: Preoperative single oral dose of dexamethasone substantially reduced postendodontic pain. Further studies are needed to evaluate the applicability of these findings to other clinical conditions and drug regimens.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Premedication
  • Root Canal Therapy / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Dexamethasone