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Betamethasone - Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & more

Betamethasone is a steroid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It can be given orally, by injection or by inhalation and can be applied to skin directly.  It has very high potency. When used under your doctor supervision, it can save patient from various skin problems.

CHEMICAL FORMULA

  • 9 Fluro-16beta-methylprednisolone
  • Molecular Formula-  C22H29FO5
  • Generic Name - Betamethasone

Pharmacokinetics Betamethasone is glucocorticoid receptor agonist. It leads to control the rate of protein synthesis, depresses the migration of polymorphonuclear leucocytes & fibroblasts; reverses capillary permeability and helps in.... lysosomal stabilization at the cellular level to prevent and control the inflammation. When taken orally, half life of the drug is 6.5 hrs; it is metabolized by the liver and excreted through urine.  

USES

  1. Betamethasone is used on the skin to relieve the redness, swelling, itching and discomfort of many skin problems such as: psoriasis eczema and various types of dermatitis.
  2. Betamethasone Lotion is also used on the scalp and hairy parts of the body.
  3. It is also used in various type of auto immune disorder as well as various type of malignancy.

Your doctor may have prescribed Betamethasone forother reasons also.

ALTERNATIVE There are various alternatives available

  • Mometosone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Halobetasol
  • Halcinonide
  • Fluticasone
  • Clobestol
  • Desonide

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects, though rare, can happen.  Betamethasone topical medicine can be absorbed through the skin, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body. If you have any of the following symptoms, stop using the medicine and call your doctor

  • Blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights
  • Slow or increased heartbeats
  • Disturbance in sleeping (Insomnia)
  • Increase in body weight, Swollen face
  • Lethargy, abdominal pain, headache orseizures

Common side effects may include:

  • Stinging, burning, or itching of treated skin
  • Dryness of the skin, irritation, or  discoloration of skin
  • Rashes on the skin and Acne
  • Lightening of the skin tone
  • Folliculitis (Dry crust around the hair follicle)

Also stop using betamethasone topical and consult your doctor If you have:

  • Severe skin itching or redness or pain where the medicine was applied

Long term use of over dosage of betamethasone is not expected to produce life threatening symptoms. However, prolong useof this highly potent steroid can lead to symptoms such as skin thinning, bruising, redistribution of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), flaring of acne or hair on face, irregular menstruation, impotent, or loss of interest in libido,etc.

Betamethasone and Alcohol

Both alcohol and betamethasone topical can dry the skin, and the combination may dry the skin even more. Drinking alcohol should be avoided while taking betamethasone in any form.

CONTRAINDICATION

Do not use Betamethasone if you have had an allergic reaction, such as wheezing, rash or hives, to betamethasone Also do not use betamethasone if you have:

  • A viral skin infection, such as cold sores,
  • The fungal skin infection, such as tinea or ringworm, thrush
  • Tuberculosis of the skin
  • Acne rosacea
  • Inflammation around the mouth
  • Skin conditions with ulcers
  • Untreated serious infection

You need to see your physician to be sure that you do not have any of these conditions. Do not use betamethasone just before having a bath, shower or going swimming. If you do, you may reduce the effectiveness of betamethasone. Do not use Betamethasone after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.

POPULAR BARANDS

  1. Diprovate (Crossland)
  2. Betafoam (Cipla)
  3. Lupiderm (Lupin)
  4. Betagel (Micro labs)
  5. Betnovate (Glaxo Smithkline)

COMBINATION WITH OTHER DRUGS

Betamethasone with Salisylic acid

  1. Dipsalic (Fulford)
  2. Diprovate MF (Crossland)

Betamethasone with Antibiotics

  1. Betnovate N (Glaxo Smithkline)
  2. Betagel G (Micro Lab Gratia)
  3. Betenderm N (Cipla)

Betamethasone with Antifungal Agent and Antibiotics

  1. Betenederm GM (Cipla)
  2. Betnovate GM (Glaxo Smithkline)
  3. Cortec Plus (Torrent)

Betamethasone Dosage: Betamethasone is used in both topical and systemic forms which are as follows:

Topical : base

  1. Cream as valerate: Generic:0.1% (15g, 45g )
  2. Gel as dipropionate augumented : Generic: 0.05% (15gm, 50g)
  3. Lotion as dipropionate: 0.05% (60ml)
  4. Ointment as dipropionate: 0.05% (15g, 45g)

Systemic: Oral: Celestone: 0.6mg/5ml Suspension, Injection: Celestonesolution : Betamethasone sodium phosphate 3mg and betamethasone phosphate 3mg and betamethasone acetate 3mg/1ml (5ml).  

Brand Name Route of Administration Dosage
Diprosalic (Ointment) Topical   15g  
Betnovate( Lotion) Topical 30ml
Lotriderm (Cream) Topical 30g
Celestone (Injection) Intra muscular 0.2ml per square cm
Betnelan  drops Oral .6mg/5ml

Betamethasone topical comes in a 0.05 percent ointment or lotion. Whenever betamethasone is applied topically on any body part, it should be exposed to the air. Do not cover it with bandage. Do not apply the cream on face, underarms, and groins.  Please consult your doctor before applying cream to above mentioned areas. Do not apply more than 50gm in a week. Stop the betamethasone when the existing skin condition subsided.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Question: What is betamethasone cream?
Answer:  It is an anti inflammatory cream which can be used on skin only (Topical use).

Question: What should I tell my doctor before using betamethasone cream?
Answer: It is important to tell your doctor about your general well being before any medication, especially if you are suffering from diabetes mellitus, hypertension or any other skin condition. Also, tell your doctor about your medicine which you are taking for long term diseases like blood pressure or diabetes mellitus or any herbal medicines, vitamins, energy drinks or body enhancing supplements.

Question: How should I use betamethasone cream?
Answer: Use betamethasone as your doctor tells you to use it. Apply a thin film of cream twice or thrice a day or as directed by your doctor. If you are more than 18 years old, don’t use more than 90-100gm/ week......previously  it was written 50 gm per week

Question: What should I avoid while using betamethasone ?
Answer: Don’t expose the affected part to sun after applying the medication. Avoid hot and humid area like tanning booths.

Question: What would happen if I miss my dosage?
Answer: Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. You should not take the missed dose if it is time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Question: How should I store betamethasone cream?
Answer:  Store the drug around 25 degrees or 77 degree Fahrenheit but do not refrigerate. As a rule, keep away all the medication away from children. Discard the unused cream six months after it has been opened.

Disclaimer: The above information is not complete. All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor will weigh the risks of your using Betamethasone against the benefits it is expected to have for you. So, it will be in your best interest to take this medicine under medical supervision only.

References

1. Essentials of Medical Pharmacology by Dr K.D TripathiPublisher: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers; Eighth edition (2018)

2. Betamethasone.Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-.

3. Betamethasone, Topical. Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-.

4. Role of betamethasone valerate 2.250 mg medicated plaster in the treatment of psoriasis and other dermatological pathologies: a review. Drugs Context. 2018 Aug 20;7:212539. doi: 10.7573/dic.212539. eCollection 2018.

5. http:/www.uptodate.com/






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