Bulas and Medicines 2022

Betamethasone: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

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Betamethasone: what it is for, how to use it and side effects
Betamethasone: what it is for, how to use it and side effects

Betamethasone is a steroid medication with potent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-rheumatic action, indicated to treat various he alth problems that affect the skin, mucous membranes, glands, bones, muscles or respiratory system, such as dermatitis, hives, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, bronchitis, asthma or lupus, for example, relieving symptoms such as itching, redness, inflammation of bones, joints or pain.

This remedy can be found as betamethasone dipropionate, betamethasone valerate or betamethasone disodium phosphate, in the form of an ointment, cream, lotion, topical solution, tablet or injectable, under the names Betnovate, Betaderm, Diprosone, Diprospan or Diprogenta, for example.In addition, some creams, ointments or syrups may contain betamethasone associated with other substances such as gentamicin, salicylic acid, dexchlorpheniramine or ketoconazole.

Betamethasone should only be used with medical indication and guidance, according to the he alth problem to be treated, and with the doses and duration of treatment recommended by the doctor.

What is it for

Betamethasone is indicated to treat a variety of he alth conditions including:

  • Osteoarticular diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, ankylosing spondylitis, epicondylitis, radiculitis, coccydynia, sciatica, lumbago, torticollis, ganglion cyst, exostosis, fasciitis;
  • Allergic conditions: chronic bronchial asthma, hay fever, angioneurotic edema, allergic bronchitis, seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, allergic reactions to medication, sleeping sickness and insect bites;
  • Dermatologic conditions: atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis, severe contact or solar dermatitis, urticaria, hypertrophic lichen planus, diabetic necrobiosis lipoidica, alopecia areata, discoid lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, keloids, pemphigus, dermatitis herpetiformis and cystic acne;
  • Collagenosis: systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, dermatomyositis or periarteritis nodosa, adult leukemias and lymphomas, or acute childhood leukemia.

In addition, it can be used in the treatment of adrenogenital syndrome, ulcerative colitis, regional ileitis, bursitis, nephritis and nephrotic syndrome, in which case the use of betamethasone must be supplemented with mineralocorticoids. Injectable betamethasone is recommended when the drug does not respond to systemic corticosteroids. Find out about other indications for corticosteroids.

How to use

How betamethasone is used depends on the person's age and condition they want to be treated, as well as how it is used, and includes:

  • Betamethasone ointment, cream, lotion or topical solution: the use should be made on the skin by passing a small amount of betamethasone in the affected area, being the recommended dose for adults or children over 1 year old is 1 to 2 times a day for a maximum period of 4 weeks, according to medical advice;
  • Betamethasone tablet: tablets should be taken orally, with the starting dose of betamethasone for adults ranging from 0.25 mg to 8.0 mg per day, with a maximum dose of 8.0 mg per day. In the case of children, the initial dose can vary from 0.017 mg to 0.25 mg per kg of body weight, according to medical advice.
  • Injectable Betamethasone: Doses must be recommended by the physician individually according to the problem being treated, and must be administered by the physician, a nurse or a he althcare professional. he alth with experience in injectables.

Treatment time with betamethasone may vary according to the type of he alth problem to be treated, and medical advice should always be followed.

Possible side effects

Side effects of betamethasone are related to dose and duration of treatment, and include high blood pressure, itching, muscle weakness and pain, muscle wasting, osteoporosis, vertebral fractures, inflammation of the pancreas, abdominal swelling, esophagitis ulceration and tissue healing impairment.

Some people may also report bruising, facial erythema, increased sweating, vertigo, headache, menstrual irregularities, development of Cushing's Syndrome, decreased carbohydrate tolerance, clinical manifestations of diabetes with increased daily needs for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents.

Although there are several adverse effects related to the use of betamethasone, these reactions can be reversed only by changing the dose or suspending the treatment, under the guidance of a physician. See other side effects of corticosteroids.

Who should not use

Betamethasone, in general, should not be used by children, pregnant or nursing women, unless recommended by a physician. In addition, betamethasone should not be used by people who have an active and/or systemic infection, allergy to the components of the formula or other corticosteroids.

Betamethasone topical ointment, cream, lotion, or solution should not be used by children under 1 year of age. Injectable betamethasone should not be given into muscle in people with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and should not be given into a vein or skin in people with nonspecific ulcerative colitis if there is a possibility of impending perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection, diverticulitis, recent intestinal anastomosis, active or latent peptic ulcer, renal failure or high blood pressure, osteoporosis and myasthenia.

Betamethasone may interfere with the effect of other drugs such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampicin, ephedrine, estrogens, digitalis, amphotericin B, coumarins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, salicylates, acetylsalicylic acid, hypoglycemic agents and glucocorticoids.That's why it's important to tell the doctor all the medicines that are used to avoid increasing or decreasing their effect.

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