Highlights for betamethasone
Betamethasone is used to treat inflammation and pain in a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis, arthritis, skin disease, and blood disorders.
Tell your doctor if you develop signs of infection, such as fever, redness, swelling, pus, and pain.
Avoid coming into contact with people who have chickenpox or measles. These conditions are more severe in people taking steroids like betamethasone, and they can make you very sick.
Infection risk See Details
What is betamethasone?
Betamethasone is an injected drug. It’s given by a healthcare provider in a clinical setting. It’s also available in topical forms, including cream, gel, lotion, ointment, and foam. This article discusses the injectable form only.
Why it's used
Betamethasone is used to decrease inflammation and pain in a number of conditions.
How it works
Betamethasone is a corticosteroid drug, sometimes called a steroid. Steroids reduce the amount of inflammatory chemicals your body makes. They also reduce your body’s natural immune response to control inflammation.
betamethasone Side Effects
Most Common Side Effects
The most common side effects that occur with betamethasone include:
increased blood sugar level. Symptoms may include:
- more frequent urges to urinate
- feeling sleepy, thirsty, and hungry
trembling, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and fast heartbeat
low potassium level, which can cause muscle pain and cramps
skin changes, such as:
- stretch marks
- slow healing
- hair growth
signs of infection, including:
- sore throat
mood and behavior changes
menstrual changes, such as spotting or skipping a period
Serious Side Effects
If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
blue skin color
infection. Signs may include:
Betamethasone does not cause drowsiness.
betamethasone May Interact with Other Medications
Betamethasone can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs, or vitamins you’re taking.
How to Take betamethasone (Dosage)
Your doctor will determine a dose that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.
Celestone Soluspan comes with risks if you don’t receive it as prescribed by your doctor.
If You Don't Take It At All
If you don’t take betamethasone at all, your symptoms won’t get better. You may experience more pain and inflammation.
If You Stop Taking It Suddenly
If you stop taking it suddenly, your symptoms may return. This can include pain and inflammation.
What to Do If You Miss a Appointment
If you miss an appointment to receive the injection, call the doctor’s office to reschedule as soon as you can.
How to Tell the Drug Is Working
You may be able to tell the treatment is working if you experience less pain and swelling. Talk to your doctor to see if this medication is working for you.
Betamethasone may be used as short-term or long-term treatment.
How long you take it will depend on the disease you’re treating.
- Celestone Soluspan- betamethasone acetate/betamethasone sodium phosphate. (2015, February). Retrieved from http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/c/celestone_soluspan/celestone_soluspan_pi.pdf
Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group
Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 29, 2015