Betamethasone, also known as betamethasone dipropionate, is an anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-rheumatic drug sold commercially under the names Diprospan, Dipronil or Dibetam.
Betamethasone can be used in ointment, tablets, drops or injectable and should only be used by medical indication, relieving symptoms such as itching, redness, allergies, dermatological conditions, collagenosis, inflammation of bones, joints and soft tissues or cancer.
Some creams and ointments have in their composition, Betaderm, Betnovate, Candicort, Dermatisan, Diprogenta, Naderm, Novacort, Permut, Quadriderm and Verutex.
What is it for?
Betamethasone in cream or tablet is indicated to relieve inflammation, discomfort and itching in some diseases, the main ones being:
- Osteoarticular diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, ankylosing spondylitis, epicondylitis, radiculitis, coccidinia, sciatica, lumbago, torticollis, ganglion cyst, exostosis, fasciitis
- Allergic conditions: chronic bronchial asthma, hay fever, angioneurotic edema, allergic bronchitis, seasonal or perennial allergic rhinitis, drug reactions, sleeping diseases and insect bites
- Dermatological conditions: atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis, contact or severe solar dermatitis, urticaria, hypertrophic planar lichen, diabetic lipoid necrobiosis, areata allopécia, lupus erytheatosus discoid, psoriasis, yoloids, pemphigus, herpetiform dermatitis and cystic acne
- Collagenoses: Systemic lupus erythesus; scleroderma; dermatomyositis; nodosa periarteritis. Neoplasms: For the palliative treatment of leukemias and lymphomas in adults; acute childhood leukemia
In addition, it can be used in the treatment of adrenogenital syndrome, ulcerative colitis, regional ileitis, bursitis, nephritis and nephrotic syndrome, and it is necessary in these cases that the use of betamethasone is supplemented with mineralocorticoids. Injectable betamethasone is recommended when the drug does not respond to systemic corticosteroids.
How to use
How betamethasone is used depends on the age of the person and condition you want to be treated, as well as how it is used. Thus, in the case of betamethasone creams it is recommended that both adults and children use a small amount of the cream on the skin 1 to 4 times a day for a maximum period of 14 days.
In adults the initial dose for ranging from 0.25 mg to 8.0 mg per day, the latter being the maximum daily dose. In the case of children, the initial dose may range from 0.017 mg to 0.25 mg per kg of weight.
Possible side effects
The side effects of betamethasone are related to the dose and time of treatment, and there may be high blood pressure, itching, weakness and muscle pain, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, vertebral fractures, inflammation of the pancreas, abdominal distension, ulcerative esopharyngitis, and impaired tissue healing.
Some people may also report ecchymosis, facial erythema, increased sweating, vertigo, headache, menstrual irregularities, development of Cushing’s syndrome, decreased tolerance to carbohydrates, clinical manifestations of diabetes with increased daily insulin requirements, or oral hypoglycemic agents.
Although there are several adverse effects related to the use of betamethasone, these reactions can be reversed only with dose change or treatment suspension and should be guided by the doctor.
When it is not indicated
The use of betamethasone should be guided by the physician and is not recommended for people who have active and/or systemic infection, hypersensitivity to the components of the formula or other corticosteroids and for children under 2 years of age, and is also not recommended for women with risky pregnancy or during breastfeeding.
In addition, betamethasone should not be administered to the muscle in people with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and should not be applied to the vein or skin in cases of patients with nonspecific ulcerative colitis if there is a possibility of imminent perforation, abscess or other pyogenic infection, diverticulitis, recent intestinal anastomosis, active or latent peptic ulcer, renal failure, or hypertension, osteoporosis, and miasthenia.
Betamethasone may interact with other medications and therefore should not be consumed together, as there may be interference in the effect. Thus, the drugs that should not be used together with betamethasone are: phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifampicin and ephedrine, estrogens, digitalis, ampotherhiscin B; coumarins, non-hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs and alcohol, salicylates, acetylsalicylic acid, hypoglycemic agents and glucocorticoides.