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Drugs reference index «Betamethasone»



Pronunciation: (BAY-tuh-METH-uh-zone)Class: Glucocorticoid

Trade Names:Celestone- Syrup 0.6 mg per 5 mL

Betnesol (Canada)Betamethasone Sodium Phosphate and Betamethasone Acetate

Trade Names:Celestone Soluspan- Injection 3 mg betamethasone acetate and 3 mg betamethasone sodium phosphate per mL suspension

Betaject (Canada)Betamethasone Valerate

Trade Names:Beta-Val- Cream 0.1%- Lotion 0.1%

Trade Names:Luxiq- Foam 1.2 mg/g

Betaderm (Canada)Prevex B (Canada)ratio-Ectosone (Canada)Valisone Scalp Lotion (Canada)Betamethasone Dipropionate

Trade Names:Betamethasone Dipropionate- Cream 0.05%- Ointment 0.05%

Trade Names:Del-Beta- Lotion 0.05%

Diprolene Glycol (Canada)ratio-Topilene (Canada)ratio-Topisone (Canada)Taro-Sone (Canada)Betamethasone Dipropionate, Augmented

Trade Names:Diprolene- Ointment 0.05%- Lotion 0.05%

Trade Names:Diprolene AF- Cream 0.05%


Synthetic, long-acting glucocorticoid that depresses formation, release, and activity of endogenous mediators of inflammation, including prostaglandins, kinins, histamine, liposomal enzymes, and complement system. Also modifies body's immune response.



The t ½ is at least 300 min.

Indications and Usage

Systemic treatment of primary or secondary adrenal cortex insufficiency, rheumatic disorders, collagen diseases, dermatologic diseases, allergic states, allergic and inflammatory ophthalmic processes, respiratory diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic diseases, edematous states (resulting from nephrotic syndrome), GI diseases, multiple sclerosis, tuberculous meningitis and trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement.


Relief of inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses.


Systemic fungal infections; IM use in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; administration of live virus vaccines when patient is receiving immunosuppressive doses.


Monotherapy in primary bacterial infections. Do not use on face, groin, or axilla or for ophthalmic treatments.

Dosage and Administration


PO 0.6 to 7.2 mg/day.

Betamethasone Sodium Phosphate and Betamethasone Acetate

Intrabursal / Intra-articular / Intradermal / Intralesional 0.5 to 9 mg/day, depending on site of administration or condition being treated.

Betamethasone Dipropionate, Betamethasone Valerate

Topical Apply sparingly to affected areas 2 to 4 times/day.


Store between 36° and 86°F. Protect from excessive moisture.

Drug Interactions


May antagonize anticholinesterase effects in myasthenia gravis.

Anticoagulants, oral

May alter anticoagulant dose requirements.


May decrease pharmacologic effect of betamethasone.

Hydantoins, rifampin

May increase Cl and decrease therapeutic efficacy of betamethasone.

Nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, tubocurarine)

May potentiate or counteract neuromuscular blocking action.


May reduce serum levels and efficacy of salicylates.


May increase effects of betamethasone.

Laboratory Test Interactions

Increased urine glucose and serum cholesterol; decreased serum levels of potassium, T 3 , and T 4 ; decreased uptake of I 131 ; false-negative nitroblue-tetrazolium test.

Adverse Reactions


Thromboembolism or fat embolism; thrombophlebitis; necrotizing angiitis; cardiac arrhythmias or ECG changes; syncopal episodes; hypertension; myocardial rupture; CHF.


Convulsions; increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri); vertigo; headache; neuritis/paresthesias; psychosis; fatigue; insomnia.


Impaired wound healing; thin, fragile skin; petechiae and ecchymoses; erythema; lupus erythematosus–like lesions; suppression of skin test reactions; subcutaneous fat atrophy; purpura; striae; hirsutism; acneiform eruptions; allergic dermatitis; urticaria; angioneurotic edema; perineal irritation; hyperpigmentation; hypopigmentation. Topical application may cause burning; itching; irritation; erythema; dryness; folliculitis; hypertrichosis; pruritus; perioral dermatitis; allergic contact dermatitis; numbness of fingers; stinging and cracking/tightening of skin; maceration of skin; secondary infections; skin atrophy; striae; miliaria; telangiectasia.


Posterior subcapsular cataracts; increased IOP, glaucoma; exophthalmos.


Pancreatitis; abdominal distension; ulcerative esophagitis; nausea; vomiting; increased appetite and weight gain; peptic ulcer with perforation and hemorrhage; small and large bowel perforation.


Increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa.




Sodium and fluid retention; hypokalemia; hypokalemic alkalosis; metabolic alkalosis; hypocalcemia; HPA axis suppression; endocrine abnormalities (eg, menstrual irregularities; cushingoid state; growth suppression in children secondary to adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness; increased sweating; decreased carbohydrate tolerance; hyperglycemia; glycosuria; increased insulin or sulfonylurea requirements in diabetics; manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus; negative nitrogen balance caused by protein catabolism; hirsutism).


Musculoskeletal (eg, weakness; myopathy; tendon rupture; osteoporosis; aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads; spontaneous fractures, including vertebral compression fractures and pathologic fracture of long bones); hypersensitivity, including anaphylactic reactions; aggravation or masking of infections; malaise. Topical use may produce same adverse reactions seen with systemic use.



Category C (topical). Safety not established (systemic).


Excreted in breast milk.


Growth and development of infants and children on prolonged therapy must be monitored, even with topical treatment.


May require lower doses. Consider benefits relative to risks.


Anaphylactoid reactions have occurred rarely.

Adrenal suppression

Prolonged therapy may lead to HPA suppression.


Use with caution in patients with recent MI.

Fluid and electrolyte balance

Can cause elevated BP, salt and water retention, and increased potassium and calcium excretion. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary.


May be harmful in chronic active hepatitis positive for hepatitis B surface antigen.


May mask signs of infection. May decrease host-defense mechanisms.

Ocular effects

Use cautiously in ocular herpes simplex because of possible corneal perforation.

Peptic ulcer

May contribute to peptic ulceration, especially in large doses.


Increased dosage of rapidly acting corticosteroid may be needed before, during, and after stressful situations.


Some products contain sulfites, which may cause allergic-type reactions in susceptible individuals.


Abrupt discontinuation may result in adrenal insufficiency. Use is discontinued gradually, while supplementation is increased during times of stress.



Fever, myalgia, arthralgia, malaise, anorexia, nausea, skin desquamation, orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, fainting, dyspnea, hypoglycemia (acute overdosage); cushingoid changes, moonface, central obesity, striae, hirsutism, acne, ecchymoses, hypertension, osteoporosis, myopathy, sexual dysfunction, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, peptic ulcer, infarction, electrolyte and fluid imbalance (chronic overdosage).

Patient Information

  • Tell patient to take with meals or snacks to avoid nausea.
  • Explain that medication should be taken before 9 am for best results.
  • When multiple doses are to be taken, show patient how to space them evenly throughout day.
  • If patient has diabetes, discuss importance of closely monitoring blood glucose for possible increase in insulin dosage.
  • If patient is receiving long-term therapy, tell patient to carry identification containing notification of steroid therapy.
  • Tell patient not to stop taking medication suddenly.
  • Instruct patient to report the following symptoms to health care provider: unusual weight gain or weight loss; swelling of lower extremities; muscle weakness; black tarry stools; vomiting blood; puffing face; prolonged sore throat, fever, or cold; anorexia; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; weakness; dizziness.
  • Topical
  • Demonstrate proper technique for cleaning affected area before applying medication and for applying sparingly as a thin film.
  • Tell patient to avoid contact with eyes and to avoid tight-fitting clothing on treated area.
  • Explain that alcohol-containing preparations should not be applied to area because of drying/irritation.
  • Caution patient to discontinue medication and notify health care provider if affected area worsens or develops irritation, redness, burning, swelling, or stinging.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

  • Betamethasone Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Betamethasone MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • betamethasone Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • betamethasone Topical application Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Celestone Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Celestone Solution MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Celestone Soluspan Prescribing Information (FDA)

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