Meds and you

27 September 2013

Betamethasone (topical)

Betamethasone is a topical corticosteroid. Topical corticosteroids are drugs that that are formulated for use on the skin.

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Betamethasone is the active ingredient of Adco-Betamethasone (Nappi code:827290-004), Betnovate cream (Nappi code:708313-019/027), Betnovate ointment (Nappi code:708348-009/017), Betnovate half-strength cream (Nappi code:708321-003/011), Betnovate lotion (Nappi code:708410-006), Betnovate scalp application (Nappi code:824208-005), Diprosone cream (Nappi code:720399-009), Diprosone ointment (Nappi code:720410-002), Lenovate cream (Nappi code:800163-028/036), Lenovate ointment (Nappi code:800171-004/012), Persivate ointment (Nappi code:754072-002/010), Persivate cream (Nappi code:754064-018/026), Repivate cream (Nappi code:882934-007/015) & Vari-Betamethasone cream (Nappi code:701138-003).

General information

Betamethasone is a topical corticosteroid. Topical corticosteroids are drugs that that are formulated for use on the skin. They reduce inflammation and are effective for treating inflammatory skin conditions.

In South Africa betamethasone is registered for the treatment of non-infected steroid responsive diseases and disorders affecting the skin.

This medication should be applied sparingly and as a thin, even layer to the affected area of the skin. Do not apply to broken skin, or apply more than directed.

Prolonged use on large surface areas, application of large amounts, or covering the application site with dressings may increase systemic absorption, which can result in a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. Prolonged or excessive use of this medicine may lead to thinning of the skin.

Avoid contact with the eyes.

Speak to your doctor before applying this medicine to infected skin.

How does betamethasone work?

When applied to the skin, betamethasone reduces the release of inflammatory chemicals. This reduces inflammation and its associated symptoms.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: setamethasone is available as cream, ointment, lotion and scalp application.

What does it do? Betamethasone relieves inflammation of the skin.

Overdose risk: low

Dependence risk: low

Is betamethasone available as a generic? yes

Is betamethasone available on prescription only? yes

User information

Stopping this medicine: do not stop using this medication abruptly as it may cause a recurrence of the original symptoms being treated. Consult with your doctor prior to discontinuing treatment.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have a bacterial, fungal or viral skin infection
  • you have porphyria
  • you have skin ulcers/broken skin
  • you have acne or rosacea

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children under the age of 1 year.

The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

 

 

Side effects Frequency   Consult your doctor  
  Common Rare Only if severe In all cases
skin irritation x   x  
skin thinning   x   x

 

Interactions

Drug interactions

Interactions are uncommon when used as directed.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Apply sparingly to the affected area up to 2 - 3 times daily. Reduce number of applications on improvement of symptoms.

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This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.

               Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 

 

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