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Diprolene: AF vs Augmented vs Regular - What does this mean?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 11, 2023.

Official answer


Topical skin preparations, such as Diprolene, which are described as AF, Augmented, or regular, have differences in the way they are formulated that affect how easily the active ingredient of Diprolene (which is betamethasone dipropionate 0.05%) penetrates the skin or is absorbed. All Diprolene formulations are augmented, which means they have propylene glycol added to their base which helps the formulation penetrate the skin faster, and allows it to be absorbed more quickly. Diprolene AF is a cream that has been discontinued in the US, but generic forms of this “augmented” betamethasone dipropionate cream 0.05% are available. AF stands for “augmented formulation”. There are also augmented forms of betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% that do not contain “AF” in the brand name, such as regular Diprolene, which is an ointment.

Augmented preparations (which are formulations that have propylene glycol or a different penetration enhancer added to them) are more potent than regular (unaugmented) betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% formulations.

  • Katz HI, Lindholm JS, Weiss JS, Shavin JS, Morman M, Bressinck R, Cornell R, Pariser DM, Pariser RJ, Weng W, et al. Efficacy and safety of twice-daily augmented betamethasone dipropionate lotion versus clobetasol propionate solution in patients with moderate-to-severe scalp psoriasis. Clin Ther. 1995 May-Jun;17(3):390-401. doi: 10.1016/0149-2918(95)80104-9. PMID: 7585843.
  • Diprolene (betamethasone dipropionate 0.05%) Updated 06/2021. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

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