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What does augmented mean in betamethasone?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 23, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Augmented forms of prescription topical corticosteroids like betamethasone dipropionate penetrate the skin more quickly and work faster than non-augmented forms. Augmented forms are available as creams, ointments, lotions or gels.

Diprolene AF has been discontinued in the US, but generic forms of this “augmented” betamethasone dipropionate cream 0.05% are available. AF stands for “augmented formulation”, but there are also augmented forms of betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% that do not contain “AF” in the brand name.

  • For example, betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% (brand example: Diprolene ointment) contains an “augmented form” of the steroid. There are also generic options.
  • Diprolene is used on the skin to relieve redness, swelling and inflammation, pain and itching caused by certain skin problems in people 13 years of age and older.

How strong is augmented betamethasone?

Topical corticosteroids are grouped by their potency. Augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% gel, lotion and ointment fall in Group 1, known as the super-high potency group. Group 1 is the most potent group of all seven topical corticosteroid potency groups, and Group 7 is the least potent.

The augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% cream falls in Group 2, known as the high-potency group. Non-augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% ointment also falls in Group 2.

There are less potent forms of topical betamethasone dipropionate 0.05%. For example, regular (non-augmented) betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% cream falls in Group 3 (also high potency). A betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% spray (brand name: Sernivo) is found in group 4 (medium potency). Sernivo is approved for the treatment of mild to moderate plaque psoriasis in patients 18 years of age or older.

The least potent betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% on the market is the non-augmented lotion form available in a generic (the brand name Diprosone has been discontinued). This product falls into Group 5 potency.

Lower potency topical corticosteroids may be preferred and safer if you have a larger area of your skin to treat.

Is augmented betamethasone available in a generic?

There are many generic options available that may be more affordable than brand name counterparts.

The generic options for augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% include:

  • cream
  • ointment
  • lotion
  • gel

The generic dosage form options for betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% (non-augmented) include:

  • cream
  • ointment
  • lotion

How much does augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% cost?

The cost for generic augmented betamethasone topical dipropionate 0.05% ointment ranges from $7.50 to $41 for a supply of 15 grams, depending on which pharmacy you visit and your location. Prices are for cash paying customers only and are not valid with insurance plans.

This betamethasone topical price guide is based on using the Drugs.com discount card which is accepted at most U.S. pharmacies.

Bottom Line

  • Augmented forms of prescription topical corticosteroids penetrate the skin more quickly and work faster than non-augmented forms.
  • Augmented forms are available in the US as creams, ointments, lotions or gels.
  • Prescription forms of betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% (brand example: Diprolene ointment) contain an “augmented form” of the steroid. There are also many generic options.

This is not all the information you need to know about augmented betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% (Diprolene) for safe and effective use. Review the full product information here, and discuss this information and any questions with your doctor or other health care provider.

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