Other Drug Treatments for Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children

Some drugs commonly used in children with brain or spinal cord tumors do not treat the tumors directly, but they may help lessen symptoms from the tumor or its treatment.


Cortisone-like drugs such as dexamethasone (Decadron) are often given to reduce the swelling that can occur around brain tumors. They are often given for a few days after surgery, and might be used during radiation therapy as well. This may help relieve symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

Anti-seizure drugs (anti-epileptics)

Drugs may be given to lower the chance of seizures in children with brain tumors. Many different anti-seizure drugs can be used.


The pituitary gland helps control the levels of many different hormones in the body. If the pituitary has been damaged by the spread of the tumor or by treatments (surgery or radiation therapy), your child may need to take pituitary hormones or other hormones to replace those missing.

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Last Medical Review: August 12, 2014 Last Revised: January 21, 2016

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