Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Absorption: Topical (applied to the skin) corticosteroids such as betamethasone are known to be absorbed into the bloodstream, especially if used for prolonged periods of time on large areas of the body. Absorption is also more likely to occur if the patch is covered with a dressing that does not allow the skin to come into contact with the air. This medication should not be used for longer than 30 days.
Infections: Betamethasone should not be used on any infected area until the infection has cleared. Corticosteroids applied to the skin may increase the risk of developing a skin infection. If you notice any increased redness, swelling, heat, or pain around the area where the medication is applied, contact your doctor, as these are possible signs of infection.
Medical conditions: People with stasis dermatitis and other skin diseases associated with impaired circulation should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Stopping this medication: Suddenly stopping corticosteroid medication may cause your skin condition to return. If you have been using this medication for a long period of time, discuss with your doctor the best way to discontinue the medication.
Thinning of skin: Using topical corticosteroid medication for a long period of time can cause skin and the tissues underneath to thin or soften or can cause stretch marks. Your doctor may recommend you stop using this medication once in a while or to apply to one area of the body at a time to give the skin a chance to strengthen. If you notice changes to the texture or colour of your skin, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy: Betamethasone should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while using this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if betamethasone applied to the skin passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: Seniors may experience more side effects of this medication than younger adults, as they are more likely to have thinner, more fragile, skin, making it more likely for the medication to be absorbed.