Betamethasone and calcipotriene (topical)
Medically reviewed on January 22, 2018
What is betamethasone and calcipotriene?
Betamethasone is a steroid. It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.
Calcipotriene is a form of vitamin D. It works by decreasing the rate of skin cell reproduction.
Betamethasone and calcipotriene topical (for the skin) is a combination medicine used to treat plaque psoriasis.
Adults may use the suspension (liquid) form of this medicine on the skin or the scalp. The liquid may be used only on the scalp in children who are at least 12 years old.
Betamethasone and calcipotriene topical foam or ointment should be used only on the skin and only by adults.
Betamethasone and calcipotriene may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to betamethasone or calcipotriene.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
high levels of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia);
a history of kidney stones;
liver or kidney disease;
severe forms of psoriasis (with pus, skin peeling, severe redness);
a skin infection; or
if you are receiving UV light treatments (phototherapy).
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether betamethasone and calcipotriene topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not apply this medicine to your breasts if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not use this medicine on a child without a doctor's advice. Children can absorb larger amounts of steroid medicine through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects. Steroid medicine can also affect growth in children. Talk with your doctor if you think your child is not growing at a normal rate while using this medicine.
Betamethasone and calcipotriene topical is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.
How should I use betamethasone and calcipotriene?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Do not use betamethasone and calcipotriene topical to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use in the vagina.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine, unless you are using the medicine to treat the skin on your hands.
Shake the suspension (liquid) or foam just before using it.
Apply this medicine once daily to the affected skin and rub it in gently. Do not spread the medicine over a large skin area. Do not apply to areas of thinner skin (face, underarms, groin) unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not cover the treated skin area. Covering skin treated with a topical steroid can increase the amount of medicine your skin absorbs, which may lead to unwanted side effects.
If you use betamethasone and calcipotriene foam: Do not use more than 60 grams (1 full can) in 4 days.
If you use betamethasone and calcipotriene liquid:
Adults should not use more than 100 grams (1 full bottle) of the liquid in 1 week.
Children age 12 and older should not use more than 60 grams of the liquid in 1 week.
If you use betamethasone and calcipotriene ointment: Do not use more than 100 grams (1 large tube) of the ointment in 1 week. Avoid treating an area that is larger than 30% or one-third of your entire body.
Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about how much to apply each time you use the medicine.
Betamethasone and calcipotriene ointment or foam can be applied daily for up to 4 weeks. The liquid can be used daily for up to 8 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions about your individual treatment schedule.
Call your doctor if your skin condition does not improve after several days of treatment, or if it gets worse while using this medicine.
If you use betamethasone and calcipotriene long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle or tube tightly closed when not in use.
Stop using the medicine when your skin clears up, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Betamethasone and calcipotriene foam is flammable. Do not use near high heat or open flame. Do not smoke until the medicine has completely dried on your skin.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medicine.
What should I avoid while using betamethasone and calcipotriene?
Do not use on broken or infected skin. Also avoid using the medicine in open wounds. If this medicine gets in your eyes, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina, rinse with water.
Do not use more than one topical steroid medicine without your doctor's advice.
Avoid having your hair colored within 12 hours before or after you apply betamethasone and calcipotriene to your scalp.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. This medicine can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Betamethasone and calcipotriene side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Topical steroid medicine can be absorbed through the skin, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body. Tell your doctor if you have:
weight gain (especially in your face or your upper back and torso);
slow wound healing, thinning skin, increased body hair;
irregular menstrual periods, changes in sexual function; or
Children can absorb larger amounts of this medicine through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.
Stop using the medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe burning or irritation where the medicine was applied;
redness or crusting around your hair follicles;
pus, swelling, redness, increased itching, or other signs of skin infection;
high levels of calcium in your blood--constipation, increased thirst or urination, muscle weakness, bone pain, confusion, lack of energy, or tired feeling; or
Common side effects may include:
skin dryness, itching, burning, or irritation;
mild rash; or
changes in skin color.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Betamethasone and calcipotriene dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Psoriasis:
Psoriasis vulgaris: Apply to the affected areas once a day for up to 4 weeks. The maximum weekly dose should not exceed 100 g. Treatment of more than 30% body surface area is not recommended.
Plaque psoriasis of the scalp and body: Apply to the affected areas once a day for up to 8 weeks; treatment may be discontinued earlier if cleared. The maximum weekly dose should not exceed 100 g.
What other drugs will affect betamethasone and calcipotriene?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
any other steroid medicines; or
other medicines to treat psoriasis.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with betamethasone and calcipotriene, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01.
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