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Betamethasone topical Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Sep 13, 2023.

Applies to betamethasone topical: topical application cream, topical application lotion, topical application ointment, topical application spray. Other dosage forms:

Serious side effects

Along with its needed effects, betamethasone topical may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking betamethasone topical:

More common

Less common

Rare

Incidence not known

Other side effects

Some side effects of betamethasone topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

Rare

Incidence not known

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to betamethasone topical: topical cream, topical foam, topical gel, topical lotion, topical ointment, topical spray.

General

The most commonly reported side effects were pruritus, burning, itching, irritation.

Hypersensitivity

Rare (less than 0.1%): Hypersensitivity

Endocrine

Frequency not reported: Cushing's syndrome[Ref]

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Folliculitis, skin infections (including bacterial, fungal and viral skin infections)

Frequency not reported: Dryness, hypertrichosis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, maceration of the skin, secondary infections, skin atrophy, striae, miliaria[Ref]

Local

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Application site pain

Frequency not reported: Burning, itching, irritation[Ref]

Ocular

Rare (less than 0.1%): Eye disorder

Postmarketing reports: cataracts, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, central serous chorioretinopathy[Ref]

Metabolic

Frequency not reported: Hyperglycemia

Renal

Frequency not reported: Glucosuria

Other

Rare (less than 0.1%): Rebound effect

References

1. Stoppoloni G, Prisco F, Santinelli R, Sicuranza G, Giordano C. Potential hazards of topical steroid therapy. Am J Dis Child. 1983;137:1130-1.

2. Ruiz-Maldonado R, Zapata G, Lourdes T, Robles C. Cushing's syndrome after topical application of corticosteroids. Am J Dis Child. 1982;136:274-5.

3. Reymann F, Kehlet H. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical function. Association with topical application of betamethasone dipropionate. Arch Dermatol. 1979;115:362-3.

4. Cunliffe WJ, Burton JL, Holti G, Wright V. Hazards of steroid therapy in hepatic failure. Br J Dermatol. 1975;93:183-5.

5. Walsh P, Aeling JL, Huff L, Weston WL. Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression by superpotent topical steroids. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993;29:501-3.

6. Stevens DJ. Cushing's syndrome due to the abuse of betamethasone nasal drops. J Laryngol Otol. 1988;102:219-21.

7. Flynn MD, Beasley P, Tooke JE. Adrenal suppression with intranasal betamethasone drops. J Laryngol Otol. 1992;106:827-8.

8. Salde L, Lassus A. Systemic side-effects of three topical steroids in diseased skin. Curr Med Res Opin. 1983;8:475-80.

9. Product Information. Diprolene (betamethasone topical). Schering Corporation. 2001;PROD.

10. Sneddon I. Perioral dermatitis. Br J Dermatol. 1972;87:430-4.

11. Smith EB, Breneman DL, Griffith RF, Hebert AA, Hickman JG, Maloney JM, Millikan LE, Sulica VI, Dromgoole SH, Sefton J, et al. Double-blind comparison of naftifine cream and clotrimazole/betamethasone dipropionate cream in the treatment of tinea pedis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1992;26:125-7.

12. Barkey WF. Striae and persistent tinea corporis related to prolonged use of betamethasone dipropionate 0.05% cream/clotrimazole 1% cream (Lotrisone cream). J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987;17:518-9.

13. Grice K. Tinea of the hand and forearm. Betamethasone valerate atrophy. Proc R Soc Med. 1966;59:254-5.

14. Hellgren L. Induction of generalized pustular psoriasis by topical use of betamethasone-dipropionate ointment in psoriasis. Ann Clin Res. 1976;8:317-9.

15. Macdonald A. Topical corticosteroid preparations. Hazards and side-effects. Br J Clin Pract. 1971;25:421-5.

16. Ellis CN, Katz HI, Rex IH Jr, Shavin JS, Van Scott EJ, VanderPloeg D. A controlled clinical trial of a new formulation of betamethasone dipropionate cream in once-daily treatment of psoriasis. Clin Ther. 1989;11:768-74.

17. Kitazawa Y. Increased intraocular pressure induced by corticosteroids. Am J Ophthalmol. 1976;82:492-5.

18. Butcher JM, Austin M, McGalliard J, Bourke RD. Bilateral cataracts and glaucoma induced by long term use of steroid eye drops. BMJ. 1994;309:43.

19. Eisenlohr JE. Glaucoma following the prolonged use of topical steroid medication to the eyelids. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1983;8:878-81.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.