Description: Betamethasone is a corticosteroid that prevents and controls inflammation by playing a role in cellular signaling, immune function, inflammation, and protein regulation.


This medication is used to treat inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses.


Should not be given to patients with hypersensitivity reactions from this drug.

How to use betamethasone

  • This medicine is usually applied 1 to 3 times daily. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
  • Do not take by mouth. Betamethasone topical is for use only on the skin.
  • Wash your hands before and after using betamethasone topical, unless you are using the medicine to treat the skin on your hands.
  • Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub it gently into the skin. Do not apply betamethasone topical over a large area of skin.
  • Do not cover the treated skin area unless your doctor tells you to. Covering the skin that is treated with betamethasone topical can increase the amount of medicine your skin absorbs, which may lead to unwanted side effects. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
  • When treating the diaper area of a baby, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers.
  • Use betamethasone topical regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
  • Call your doctor if your skin condition does not improve after several days of treatment, or if it gets worse while using betamethasone topical.
  • If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests at your doctor’s office.

Topical steroid medicine can be absorbed through the skin, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body.

Stop using betamethasone topical and call your doctor if you have:

  • blurred vision, or seeing halos around lights
  • uneven heartbeats
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • weight gain, puffiness in your face
  • tired feeling

Also stop using betamethasone topical and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe skin irritation where the medicine was applied
  • signs of skin infection (swelling, redness, warmtth, oozing)

Common side effects may include:

  • increased hair growth
  • burning or itching of treated skin
  • skin dryness or irritation
  • acne, skin rash
  • folliculitis (redness or crusting around your hair follicles)
  • lightened color of treated skin
  • stretch marks
  • white or “pruned” appearance of the skin (caused by leaving wound dressings on for long periods of time).


  • Systemic absorption of topical corticosteroids has produced reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, manifestations of Cushing’s syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria in some patients.
  • Conditions which augment systemic absorption include the application of the more potent steroids, use over large surface areas, prolonged use, and the addition of occlusive dressings. Use of more than one corticosteroid-containing product at the same time may increase total systemic glucocorticoid exposure.
  • Therefore, patients receiving a large dose of a potent topical steroid applied to a large surface area should be evaluated periodically for evidence of HPA axis suppression by using the urinary-free cortisol and ACTH stimulation tests. If HPA axis suppression is noted, an attempt should be made to withdraw the drug, to reduce the frequency of application, or to substitute a less potent steroid.
  • Pediatric patients may absorb proportionally larger amounts of topical corticosteroids and thus be more susceptible to systemic toxicity .
  • If irritation develops, topical corticosteroids should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.
  • In the presence of dermatological infections, the use of an appropriate antifungal or antibacterial agent should be instituted. If a favorable response does not occur promptly, the corticosteroid should be discontinued until the infection has been adequately controlled.



  • Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially: aldesleukin, mifepristone, birth control pills, diabetes medications, estrogen hormone replacement, drugs that can cause bleeding/bruising (including antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel, “blood thinners” such as dabigatran/warfarin, NSAIDs such as aspirin/celecoxib/ibuprofen), drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove betamethasone from your body (such as azole antifungals including ketoconazole, barbiturates including phenobarbital, rifamycins including rifampin, certain anti-seizure medications including phenytoin).
  • If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.


If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

Notes: Do not share this medication with others.

If this medication is used for an extended time, laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood sugar/mineral levels, blood pressure, eye exams) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the risk of brittle bones (osteoporosis) while taking this drug for an extended time include doing weight-bearing exercise, stopping smoking, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, and limiting alcohol. Discuss with your doctor lifestyle changes that might benefit you.

If you take this medication for long-term treatment, wear or carry identification stating that you are using it. (See also Medical Alert section.)

Missed Dose: If you are taking this medication once daily and miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Ask your doctor ahead of time what you should do if you miss a dose while taking this medication every other day or on another schedule besides a daily one.

Storage: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Discard medication that has been frozen. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.



Available Brands

  • Betnovate [ GlaxoSmithKline ]
  • Betnovate Scalp Application [ GlaxoSmithKline ]
  • Celestone [ Merck Sharp & Dohme ]
  • Diprolene [ Merck Sharp & Dohme ]
  • Diprosone [ Merck Sharp & Dohme ]
  • Steroderm [ Vendiz ]

Also marketed as

  • Beprosone [ Hoe ]
  • Betacin [ Geofman ]
  • Beta-D [ Agio ]
  • Betaderm [ Eadriex ]
  • Betnelan [ GlaxoSmithKline ]
  • Innodesone [ Innoderm ]

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