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Betamethasone

Pronunciation

Generic Name: betamethasone (BAY-ta-METH-a-sone)
Brand Name: Celestone Soluspan

Betamethasone is used for:

Treating certain conditions associated with decreased adrenal gland function. It is used to treat severe inflammation caused by certain conditions, including severe asthma, severe allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, certain blood disorders, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and certain eye and skin conditions. It may be used for certain types of cancer (eg, leukemia). It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Betamethasone is a corticosteroid. It works by modifying the body's immune response to various conditions and decreasing inflammation.

Do NOT use betamethasone if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in betamethasone
  • you have a certain bleeding disorder (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using betamethasone:

Some medical conditions may interact with betamethasone. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of bleeding problems, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure [CHF]), heart attack, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, diabetes, seizures, an underactive thyroid, adrenal gland problems, any mental or mood problems, or low blood potassium levels
  • if you have or have recently had a bacterial, fungal, malarial, viral, or other type of infection; herpes infection of the eye; chickenpox; measles; shingles; or a head or brain injury
  • if you have HIV infection or tuberculosis (TB), or if you have ever had a positive TB skin test
  • if you have any stomach problems (eg, ulcers), intestinal problems (eg, blockage, perforation, infection, unexplained diarrhea, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis), recent intestinal surgery, or inflammation of the esophagus
  • if you have weak bones (eg, osteoporosis) or muscle problems (eg, myasthenia gravis)
  • if you have had any recent vaccinations (eg, smallpox)
  • if you have a history of joint surgery or any joint problems (eg, fracture, infection)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with betamethasone. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Aprepitant, clarithromycin, cyclosporine, diltiazem, erythromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, or troleandomycin because side effects, such as adrenal gland or nervous system problems (eg, seizures), may occur
  • Barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), carbamazepine, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), lithium, or rifampin because they may decrease betamethasone's effectiveness
  • Aspirin, live vaccines, mifepristone, or ritodrine because the risk of their side effects may be increased by betamethasone

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if betamethasone may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use betamethasone:

Use betamethasone as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Betamethasone is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using betamethasone at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use betamethasone. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use betamethasone if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of betamethasone, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use betamethasone.

Important safety information:

  • Betamethasone may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • If you have not had chickenpox, shingles, or measles, avoid contact with anyone who does.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take betamethasone before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Diabetes patients - Betamethasone may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • If you use betamethasone for an extended period of time, your body may not produce enough natural steroids for up to several months after you stop using it. Severe symptoms may occur if you experience injury, surgery, infection, or loss of blood electrolytes. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these events. You may need to begin taking additional corticosteroids.
  • If you have had betamethasone injected into a joint and you experience increased pain along with swelling, decreased joint movement, fever, and general feeling of being unwell, contact your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine while you are using betamethasone.
  • Serious health problems have happened when corticosteroids, including betamethasone, have been given into the spine (epidural). These include paralysis, blindness, stroke, and sometimes death. Safety and effectiveness of corticosteroids given into the spine have not been confirmed. Corticosteroids are not approved for this use. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including adrenal function tests and blood pressure monitoring, may be performed while you use betamethasone. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Betamethasone may have benzyl alcohol in it. Do not use it in NEWBORNS or INFANTS. It may cause serious and sometimes fatal nervous system problems and other side effects
  • Corticosteroids may affect growth rate in CHILDREN and teenagers in some cases. They may need regular growth checks while they use betamethasone.
  • Betamethasone should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using betamethasone while you are pregnant. Betamethasone is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use betamethasone, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

If you suddenly stop taking betamethasone, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms, These may include unbalanced hormones (in both men and women).

Possible side effects of betamethasone:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Acne; clumsiness; dizziness; facial flushing; general body discomfort; headache; increased appetite; increased sweating; lightheadedness; nausea; nervousness; pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; sleeplessness; upset stomach.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; changes in body fat; changes in menstrual periods; changes in skin color; chest pain; easy bruising or bleeding; irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes (eg, depression); muscle pain, wasting, or weakness; seizures; severe nausea or vomiting; sudden severe dizziness or headache; swelling of feet or legs; symptoms of infection (eg, chills, fever, sore throat); tendon or bone pain; thinning of the skin; unusual skin sensation; unusual weight gain; vision changes or other eye problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of betamethasone:

Betamethasone is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using betamethasone at home, store betamethasone as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep betamethasone out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about betamethasone, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Betamethasone is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take betamethasone or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about betamethasone. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to betamethasone. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using betamethasone.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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