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.
Illness and stress: If you experience unusual stress (e.g., trauma, infection), your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid taken by mouth before, during, and after the stressful situation.
Medical conditions: Tell your doctor if you have any history of the following medical conditions, as treatment with betamethasone may worsen these conditions or may require that you be monitored more closely by your doctor:
- heart failure
- herpes infections of the eye
- high blood pressure
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- myasthenia gravis
- stomach problems
- underactive thyroid
Prolonged treatment: Prolonged use of corticosteroids such as betamethasone may cause cataracts, glaucoma, eye infections, and stomach ulcers. Your doctor may monitor you for these problems during treatment.
Stopping treatment: If you have been using this medication for longer than 2 weeks, do not stop using this medication without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to reduce gradually the amount you are using.
Vaccines: While you are using this medication, you should not receive smallpox vaccine or other vaccinations as they will not be as effective and can cause complications. If you have not had or have not been vaccinated against chickenpox, avoid close contact with people who have chicken pox or herpes zoster.
Pregnancy: This medication 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: This medication may pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using betamethasone enema, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: Treatment with corticosteroids such as betamethasone can affect the growth and development of infants, children, and adolescents. Treatment should be given at the lowest dose for the shortest period of time.
Seniors: Seniors should discuss the risk and benefits of using this medication with their doctor as they may be more at risk for side effects and complications.