BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE WARNINGS
Betamethasone dipropionate should be used with caution in:
- Patients with psoriasis, as though the use of a potent corticosteroid such as beclomethasone dipropionate may improve psoriasis in the short term, relapse or worsening of psoriasis can occur on stopping treatment (severe rebound psoriasis).
It should not be used in:
- People who are allergic or sensitive to betamethasone dipropionate or any of the ingredients in the medicine
- People with skin problems such as rosacea (redness of the skin which affects the face), acne (pimples), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) around the mouth, and itching around the genitals or back passage
- People with widespread plaque psoriasis
- People with bacterial or fungal infections affecting the skin who are not receiving anti-infective drugs
- People with certain viral skin lesions, particularly herpes simplex, or a vaccination reaction to chickenpox
- Babies with nappy rash
- Adults or children, when the drug is applied under a dressing, plaster or nappy.
Also see list of precautions and interactions.
The lotion should be stored in a cool place.
The cream, ointment and scalp application should be stored below 25°C.
BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE USES
What is it used for?
- Betamethasone dipropionate is used to treat a variety of inflammatory skin conditions.
- It is a topical corticosteroid, sometimes known as a topical glucocorticoid or steroid.
- It is used to reduce the swelling and irritation of skin conditions such as dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), eczema (inflammation of the skin which may cause dryness, flakiness, heat, and itching) and psoriasis (a type of skin disease, normally indicated by red scaly patches). Betamethasone dipropionate is a potent corticosteroid which is applied directly to the affected area of the skin or scalp.
- In general this drug is used to treat severe inflammatory skin conditions which have not responded to less potent corticosteroids.
- Benefits of being on this drug can include a rapid and sustained response in eczema and dermatitis of all types. Betamethasone dipropionate is also effective in the less responsive conditions such as psoriasis of the scalp and chronic plaque psoriasis of the hands and feet.
Listed below are the typical uses of betamethasone dipropionate.
- The treatment of dermatitis
- The treatment of eczema
- To treat psoriasis affecting the scalp and a type of long-term psoriasis of the hands and feet.
On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.
HOW TO USE/TAKE
Betamethasone dipropionate is available as a cream, ointment and lotion, to be applied topically.
Betamethasone dipropionate is also available in combination with calcipotriol, clotrimazole or salicylic acid.
How often do I take it?
- Skin cream and ointment
Apply a thin layer of the cream or ointment to the affected area of the skin, usually twice daily and rub in gently.
- Scalp lotion
Apply a few drops of the lotion to the affected area of the scalp, usually twice daily, and rub in gently and thoroughly.
Your doctor may want you to use this medication in a different way. If so, follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Treatment in children or on the face (cream/ointment) should not be for more than 5 days. Long-term continuous therapy should be avoided.
Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
It may take up to a few weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect, depending upon the condition.
Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.
- Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.
Do I need to avoid anything?
- This medicine is unlikely to affect driving ability or the ability to operate machinery.
- Avoid getting the medication in your eyes.
- Avoid using the scalp lotion for a long time such as daily for many weeks or months.
- Avoid using a large amount of the cream or ointment on a large part of your body for a long time (such as daily applications for many weeks or months).
- Avoid using the cream or ointment under a nappy or dressing.
- Avoid using the medication for more than 5 days in children (on any part of their body) or on the face after 5 days in any patient.
- Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
When can I stop?
- Take this medication as directed by your doctor.
- Stop using the cream on your face after a maximum of 5 days.
- Stop using the medication on children, on any part of their body, after a maximum of 5 days.
BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE SIDE EFFECTS
- Stinging or burning
- Inflammation of the hair follicles of the skin
- Allergic skin reactions
- Bacterial skin infections
- Change in skin colour
- Red marks on skin
- Thinning of the skin
- Hair growth
- Streaking of the skin
- Heat rash owing to sweat gland problems
- Visible red lines (veins)
If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Changes in the look or shape of your face or poor growth in children
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.
BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE PRECAUTIONS
Before taking betamethasone dipropionate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other corticosteroids; or if you have any other allergies.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:
- An allergy to betamethasone dipropionate or any of the ingredients in the medicine
- Skin problems such as rosacea (which affects the face), acne, dermatitis (skin inflammation) around the mouth, itching around the genitals or back passage
- Widespread plaque psoriasis
- A bacterial or fungal infection affecting the skin
- Any viral skin lesions, particularly herpes simplex, or vaccination reaction to chickenpox
- Nappy rash.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
Does alcohol intake affect this drug?
- Alcohol intake is not known to affect betamethasone dipropionate.
The elderly: betamethasone dipropionate can be used in the elderly.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below.
The safety of betamethasone dipropionate has not been established during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.
It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.
If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.
It is not known whether betamethasone dipropionate passes into breast milk in sufficient quantities after topical administration. The manufacturer therefore states that it should be used with caution if you are breastfeeding.
It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.
If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.
BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE INTERACTIONS
Before using this medicine, tell your prescriber of all the medicines you are taking including prescription medicines and medicines you have bought over the counter without a prescription. Tell your prescriber if you are taking vitamins or complementary remedies such as herbal products, as these can also interact with medicines.
If you are taking more than one medicine, these may interact with each other. Your prescriber may decide to use medicines which interact with each other if the benefit outweighs the risks. In these cases, the dose of your medicines may need to be adjusted or you may be monitored more closely.
The following medicines may interact with betamethasone:
This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, tell your prescriber of all the products you are using before taking this medicine.
If you have a question or want to discuss anything about your medicine, speak to your local pharmacist.
BETAMETHASONE DIPROPIONATE OVERDOSE
If you (or somebody else) accidentally swallows the medication, it should not produce any undesirable effects as the steroid content is low. However, if you are worried, you should see your doctor.
If you use the medication more often than you should, or use the cream or ointment on large areas of your body, it can effect some of your hormones. If you have not followed the dosage instructions, or your doctor’s advice and have used the cream too frequently and/or for a long time, you should tell your doctor.
Overdose from prolonged and excessive use can cause changes in the look or shape of your face, poor growth (in children), weak bones, eye problems such as cataracts (cloudy eyes) or glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye).
If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of betamethasone dipropionate or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.
If you forget to use the medication at the right time, use it as soon as you remember, then carry on as before.