Betamethasone is used to relieve inflammation and treat a wide variety of diseases such as certain allergic reactions, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation in joints of fingers, wrist, feet, ankles), lupus (autoimmune disease that causes inflammation), and inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g. ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease).
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Betamethasone exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the severity of your condition and response to the medication.
Betamethasone must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as this may worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have an untreated infection that is affecting the entire body as Betamethasone may not be suitable for you.
Alert your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated. You must avoid any vaccination with live vaccines without consulting with your doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease e.g. heart failure, recent heart attack
- high blood pressure
- eye disease e.g. glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye), cataract (clouding of the lens of the eyes)
- mood disorders or mental health problems
- epilepsy (fits or seizure)
- bowel problems e.g. stomach ulcer
- history of TB (infection known as tuberculosis)
- osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones)
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- systemic sclerosis (an autoimmune disorder characterised by thickening of the skin)
- steroid myopathy (muscle weakness of the upper and lower limbs)
- thyroid disease
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.
Avoid exposure to anyone who is infected with chickenpox or measles. If you are exposed to these infections, contact your doctor immediately.
If you are going to have a laboratory test (e.g. skin tests) or operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Betamethasone.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine eye examination may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have this test.
- Monitoring of the growth (e.g. height) and development of children taking this medicine may also be needed.
Betamethasone may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, indigestion, stomach pain, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, excessive hair growth, changes in menstrual cycle, joint or bone pain, and muscle weakness.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
- signs of Cushing’s syndrome e.g. swollen or round face, purple stretch marks, buffalo hump-shaped upper back, thinning of the skin
- unusual changes in mood or behaviour (being too depressed, agitated, or having compulsive and impulsive behaviour)
- visual disturbances such as blurred vision
- signs of infection e.g. persistent fever, chills, colds or cough
- swelling of the ankles, feet or hand
- rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. amphotericin B
- medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin
- medicines to treat TB (infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin, rifabutin
- water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. furosemide, bumetanide, acetazolamide
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbitone, carbamazepine
- NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. ibuprofen, aspirin
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, cobicistat
- muscle relaxants used during surgery e.g. vecuronium
- carbenoxolone (medicine for stomach ulcer)
- theophylline (medicine for asthma)
- birth control pills
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Betamethasone.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect from light and moisture.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.