Highlights for betamethasone
- Betamethasone injectable suspension is available as a brand-name drug. It's also available as a generic drug. Brand name: Celestone Soluspan.
- Betamethasone also comes in topical forms, including cream, gel, lotion, ointment, and foam.
- Betamethasone injectable suspension is used to treat inflammation and pain from a variety of conditions. These conditions include multiple sclerosis, arthritis, skin disease, and blood disorders.
- Infection risk: Steroids such as betamethasone suppress your body’s immune system. This makes it harder for you to fight infections. Long-term use of betamethasone and using it in higher doses may increase your chances of getting an infection. It may also hide the symptoms of any infection you may have.
What is betamethasone?
Betamethasone injectable suspension is an injected drug. It’s given by a healthcare provider in a clinical setting. You won’t administer this drug yourself.
Betamethasone injectable suspension is available as the brand-name drug Celestone Soluspan. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name drug.
Betamethasone is also available in topical forms, including cream, gel, lotion, ointment, and foam.
Why it's used
Betamethasone is used to decrease inflammation and pain from a number of conditions. It’s approved for:
- multiple sclerosis
- allergic conditions
- skin disease
- stomach disorders
- blood disorders
- eye disorders
- kidney problems, such as having protein in your urine
- breathing disorders
- hormone-related disease, such as thyroid problems
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, which helps to control inflammation.
Betamethasone side effects
Betamethasone injectable suspension doesn’t cause drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects that can 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
- Vision changes
- Weight gain
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- Chest tightness
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Blue skin color
- Infection. Signs may include:
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Betamethasone may interact with other medications
Betamethasone injectable suspension can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. 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.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
This drug comes with several warnings.
Warning for pregnant women
Betamethasone is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:
- Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother uses the drug.
- There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.
Studies have shown a higher rate of cleft palates when steroids are given to pregnant animals. However, there are no adequate studies to tell us whether this occurs in humans.
Warning for women who are breastfeeding
Betamethasone can pass through breast milk and may slow growth in a developing child. Betamethasone may also decrease the amount of breast milk that your body produces. Talk to your doctor if you use betamethasone and want to breastfeed.
How to use betamethasone
Your doctor will determine a dosage that’s right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dosage. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Use as directed
Betamethasone may be used for short-term or long-term treatment. How long you use it will depend on the disease you’re treating. This drug comes with risks if you don’t use it as prescribed.
If you don't use it at all: Your symptoms won’t get better. You may experience more pain and inflammation.
If you stop using it suddenly: Your symptoms may return. This can include pain and inflammation.
What to do if you miss an 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 if the drug is working: You should have less pain and swelling. Talk to your doctor to see if this medication is working for you.
Important considerations for using betamethasone
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes betamethasone for you.
- How often you receive your injection will depend on the condition being treated and how well you respond to the drug. You may use the drug as often as 3 or 4 times per day, or as little as once per week. For some joint problems, a single dose may be enough to relieve your pain and symptoms. Your doctor will decide how often you receive the drug.
- Be sure to keep all your doctor’s appointments. This is to be sure you receive your injection on a timely basis.
- You should be able to drive home after receiving betamethasone.
Betamethasone is given as an injection in a hospital or doctor’s office. If you’re planning to travel and will miss an appointment for an injection, tell your doctor. You may need to find somewhere to get the injection during your travels. Or your doctor may decide to change your dosing plan.
Additional tests needed
You may need to have lab tests done after you start using betamethasone. These tests may be done to make sure you don’t have any side effects from the medication, and to make sure the drug is working for you.
Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.