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Betamethasone (injection)

Generic name: betamethasone (injection) [ bay-ta-METH-a-sone ]
Brand names: Celestone Soluspan, Celestone, Celestone Phosphate, Selestoject, Cell-U-Jec, Adbeon, Beta-Phos/AC
Dosage form: injectable suspension (6 mg/mL)
Drug class: Glucocorticoids

Medically reviewed by on Dec 20, 2022. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is betamethasone?

Betamethasone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

Betamethasone is used to treat many different inflammatory conditions such as allergic reactions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, inflammation of the joints or tendons, and problems caused by low adrenal gland hormone levels.

Betamethasone may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Betamethasone 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.

Betamethasone may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeats;

  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;

  • bumps on the skin, or raised blotches (purple, pink, brown, or red);

  • chest pain, swollen glands;

  • a seizure;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, shortness of breath;

  • any wound that will not heal;

  • pain and swelling or stiffness in your joints with fever or general ill feeling;

  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back;

  • severe depression, changes in personality, unusual thoughts or behavior; or

  • increased adrenal gland hormones--weight gain in your face and shoulders, slow wound healing, skin discoloration, thinning skin, increased body hair, tiredness, mood changes, menstrual changes, sexual changes.

Betamethasone can affect growth in children. Tell your doctor if your child is not growing at a normal rate while using betamethasone.

Common side effects of betamethasone may include:

  • headache, depression, mood swings;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • numbness, tingling, burning pain;

  • skin redness, itching, or discoloration;

  • thinning skin, stretch marks;

  • muscle weakness; or

  • nausea, bloating, stomach pain.

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.


Before receiving betamethasone, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies, all medicines you use, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with betamethasone if you are allergic to it, or if you have idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

Betamethasone can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection. Steroids can also worsen an infection you already have, or reactivate an infection you recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had tuberculosis or if anyone in your household has tuberculosis. Also tell your doctor if you have recently traveled. Tuberculosis and some fungal infections are more common in certain parts of the world, and you may have been exposed during travel.

It is not known whether betamethasone will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How is betamethasone given?

Betamethasone is injected into a muscle, joint, or lesion, or given as a shallow injection just beneath the skin. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Your dosage needs may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you.

You should not stop using betamethasone suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your dose.

In case of emergency, wear or carry medical identification to let others know you use steroid medicine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your betamethasone injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Since betamethasone is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

High doses or long-term use of steroid medicine can lead to thinning skin, easy bruising, changes in body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems, impotence, or loss of interest in sex.

What should I avoid while receiving betamethasone?

While using this medicine: Do not receive a "live" vaccine. The vaccine may not work as well and may not fully protect you from disease.

  • Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

  • You may still be able to receive a yearly flu shot, or an "inactivated" or other vaccine to prevent diseases such as hepatitis, meningitis, pneumonia, shingles, HPV, or whooping cough.

  • Ask your doctor before getting any vaccine.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.

What other drugs will affect betamethasone?

Many drugs can affect betamethasone. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Popular FAQ

Betamethasone is not the same as hydrocortisone, but both medications are corticosteroids (steroids, for short). Continue reading

Ardosons is a medicine reported as being from Mexico that may contain 25 mg of indomethacin (in Spanish called "indometacina"), 0.75 mg of betamethasone ("betametasona") and 215 mg of methocarbamol ("metocarbamol") per capsule. There is no FDA-approved oral combination product in the U.S. that is equivalent to Ardosons. The safety and effectiveness of imported online drugs have not been reviewed by the FDA and their identity and potency can't be assured. Continue reading

Diprospan is a combination steroid injection containing two salts of betamethasone (betamethasone dipropionate and betamethasone sodium phosphate) that may be used to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions that are typically responsive to corticosteroids. Continue reading

Some lower strength forms of betamethasone cream may be appropriate to use on the face for conditions such as dermatitis, but should only be used if recommended by your doctor. Very high, high, and mid potency creams should not be used on the face due to the risk of side effects like skin thinning, visible broken capillaries (telangiectasia), and striae (lines on the face). Continue reading

How long betamethasone takes to work depends on whether the product is applied topically or given by injection plus other factors (see full faq). For topical betamethasone some improvement is usually noted within three to four days of starting treatment. For injectable betamethasone some response is usually noted within two to three days. Continue reading

A skin cream containing betamethasone in combination with clotrimazole MAY, in certain circumstances, be used for some yeast infections: however, a skin cream or lotion that only contains betamethasone should NEVER be used for a yeast infection because it does not kill the yeast and can make the infection worse. Continue reading

In studies, Enstilar Foam (calcipotriene / betamethasone dipropionate) has been used safely and effectively to treat plaque psoriasis on the body and scalp in adults and adolescents ages 12 to 17 years of age. Foam preparations are often preferred by patients with scalp psoriasis (over ointments or thick creams) and the ingredients in Enstilar Foam are considered standard first-line treatments. Continue reading

Betamethasone is not an antifungal medication. It is a steroid. Betamethasone is prescribed to relieve the itching, redness, dryness and scaling associated with inflammatory skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. Continue reading

Betamethasone cream is typically applied to the affected skin areas as a thin film 1 to 2 times per day for up to 2 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may have you apply it for up to 4 weeks. If you do not see any improvement after 2 weeks, contact your doctor for a further assessment. Continue reading

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Further information

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.