It belongs to a class of medications called steroids. Prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Betamethasone is used to treat many different conditions, such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis , arthritis, lupus, psoriasis or respiratory disorders.
Betamethasone may also be used for other purposes that are not listed in the medication guide.
Betamethasone is classified as a potent topical corticosteroid. Topical corticosteroids are also known as topical steroids.
Topical steroids are used in addition to moisturizers (emollients) to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. A topical steroid is used when patches of eczema or dermatitis appear.
Betamethasone relieves the symptoms of an outbreak by reducing inflammation, itching and redness. It is not a cure for the disease, but it will help alleviate the symptoms.
Short courses of Betamethasone may also be prescribed for the treatment of psoriasis in small areas such as the scalp, the soles of the feet or the palms of the hands.
How can it be found?
Betamethasone is available in several different preparations. You may be prescribed a cream if the affected areas of your skin are wet or crying, an ointment if your skin is dry or a lotion for larger or furry areas of the skin.
It is also available as an application for the scalp. Betamethasone is generally not suitable for children, although the skin doctor may occasionally prescribe short courses of up to two weeks for a child.
There are also available Betamethasone preparations that contain an antibacterial agent (such as Clioquinol, Neomycin, or fusidic acid) or an antifungal agent (such as Clotrimazole).
You may be prescribed one of these preparations for short-term use if your skin has become infected. Usually, they are used twice a day for a week only.
Some Betamethasone preparations also contain an ingredient called salicylic acid. The salicylic acid in these formulations can help the skin absorb the steroid better, but it is also prescribed for short periods.
Before using Betamethasone
To make sure that this is the right treatment for you, before you start using Betamethasone, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have areas of infected skin
- If you have rosacea or acne.
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a skin preparation.
How to use Betamethasone?
Before you start using the preparation, read the manufacturer’s printed information brochure from inside the package. It will give you more information about topical steroids and will provide you with a complete list of the side effects you may experience when using them.
Apply a small amount to areas of the skin that are inflamed. Then rub it gently on the skin until it disappears.
If you are using an application for the scalp, apply it to dry hair, rub it gently and let the area dry again naturally.
Do not use Betamethasone on any area of the skin that is open or infected unless you have a preparation that also contains an antibacterial or antifungal agent (such as Fucibet® and Lotriderm®).
If you are using one of these preparations, use it regularly twice a day for a week only, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
The amount of topical steroids you should apply is usually measured with units of finger. One unit per finger is the amount of cream or ointment that is squeezed along the tip of an adult’s finger (that is, from the end of the finger to the first fold on the finger).
As a guide, one unit per finger is enough to cover an area twice the size of an adult hand. Your doctor will give you an idea of the amount of unit per finger you will need to cover the area of your skin that is affected.
Your doctor will tell you how often you should apply Betamethasone. It should not be applied more than twice a day, and once a day is usually enough.
If you are using more than one topical corticosteroid , be sure you know when and where to use each one. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or ask your pharmacist for more information.
After applying Betamethasone, remember to wash your hands (unless your hands are the treated area).
If you are using Betamethasone for psoriasis, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. It should not be used in large areas of psoriasis or for long periods of time, as they may cause the symptoms to reappear later.
What are the possible side effects of Betamethasone?
Seek emergency medical attention if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction, hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat.
Less serious side effects may include:
- Problems sleeping (insomnia).
- Humor changes.
- Acne, dry skin, thinning of the skin.
- Bruising or discoloration.
- Slow healing of wounds.
- Increased sweating
- Sensation of rotation.
- Stomach ache.
- Changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in the arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
What is the most important information I should know about Betamethasone?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to Betamethasone, or if you have a yeast infection anywhere in your body.
Before taking Betamethasone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and about all other medications you are using. There are many other diseases that can be affected by the use of steroids and many other medicines that can interact with steroids.
Do not stop using Betamethasone suddenly, or you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms
Carry an identification card or medical alert bracelet that indicates you are taking a steroid in case of an emergency.