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Betamethasone topical

Generic Name: betamethasone topical (BAY ta METH a sone TOP ik al)
Brand Name: Diprolene, Luxiq, Sernivo, ...show all 15 brand names

Medically reviewed on April 16, 2018

What is betamethasone topical?

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

Betamethasone topical (for the skin) is used to treat the inflammation and itching caused by a number of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or allergic reactions.

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

Important Information

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 betamethasone topical if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

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

It may not be safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risks.

Do not use betamethasone topical on a child without a doctor's advice. Children can absorb larger amounts of this medicine through the skin and may be more likely to have side effects.

Diprolene is not approved for use by anyone younger than 13 years old. Sernivo and Luxiq are not approved for anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use betamethasone topical?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin. Do not use on open wounds or on sunburned, windburned, dry, or irritated skin. Rinse with water if this medicine gets in your eyes or mouth.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Wash your hands before and after using this medicine, unless you are using the medicine to treat the skin on your hands.

Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub it gently into the skin. Do not apply betamethasone topical over a large area of skin.

Do not cover the treated skin area unless your doctor tells you to. Covering the skin can increase the amount of drug absorbed through your skin and may cause harmful effects. Follow your doctor's instructions.

When treating the diaper area of a baby, do not use plastic pants or tight-fitting diapers.

Use betamethasone topical regularly to get the most benefit. Stop using the medicine once your symptoms clear up.

Call your doctor if your skin condition does not improve after 2 to 4 weeks, or if it gets worse.

Do not use Diprolene for longer than 2 weeks in a row. Do not use Sernivo or Luxiq for longer than 4 weeks.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

The foam is flammable. Do not use near high heat or open flame. Do not smoke until the foam has completely dried on your skin.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

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 medication.

Long term use of high doses 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 using betamethasone topical?

Do not get betamethasone topical in your eyes. If contact does occur, rinse with water.

Avoid applying betamethasone topical to the skin of your face, underarms, or groin area without your doctor's instruction.

Do not use betamethasone topical to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

Betamethasone topical side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using betamethasone and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe skin irritation where the medicine was applied; or

  • signs of skin infection (swelling, redness, warmth, oozing).

Your skin can absorb topical steroid medicine, which may cause steroid side effects throughout the body. Stop using betamethasone and call your doctor if you have:

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

  • slow wound healing, thinning skin, increased body hair;

  • weight gain, puffiness in your face; or

  • muscle weakness, tired feeling, depression, anxiety, feeling irritable.

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

Common side effects may include:

  • itching, redness, burning, stinging, or blistering of treated skin;

  • skin dryness, irritation, or discoloration;

  • thinning skin;

  • acne;

  • lightened color of treated skin; or

  • folliculitis (redness or crusting around your hair follicles).

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 topical dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Dermatitis:

Cream, gel, ointment: Apply a thin film topically to the affected area 1 or 2 times a day
Foam, lotion: Apply topically twice a day (morning and night)

Comments:
-Treatment should be discontinued when control is achieved; if no improvement is seen within 2 weeks, reassessment may be necessary.
-Occlusive dressings should not be used unless directed by a healthcare provider.

Use: Relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses

Usual Adult Dose for Plaque Psoriasis:

Spray:
-Apply topically to affected skin areas twice a day; rub in gently
Duration of Treatment: Up to 4 weeks

Comments:
-Discontinue therapy when control is achieved; treatment beyond 4 weeks is not recommended.

Use: For the treatment of mild to moderate plaque psoriasis.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dermatitis:

12 years or older:
Cream, gel, ointment: Apply a thin film topically to the affected area 1 or 2 times a day
Foam, lotion: Apply topically twice a day (morning and night)

Comments:
-Treatment should be discontinued when control is achieved; if no improvement is seen within 2 weeks, reassessment may be necessary.
-Occlusive dressings should not be used unless directed by a healthcare provider.
-Administration of topical corticosteroids to pediatric patients should be limited to the least amount compatible with an effective therapeutic regimen. Chronic corticosteroid therapy may interfere with the growth and development of children.

Use: Relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses

What other drugs will affect betamethasone topical?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

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.

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