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. It is advisable to use betamethasone for brief periods of time only and to stop using it as soon as the problem clears.
Eyes: Use this medication with caution on lesions close to the eye. Take care to ensure that it does not enter the eye, as glaucoma or cataracts may result. Report any changes in your vision to your doctor, as soon as possible.
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.
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 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. If this medication is used, it should not be applied to the breast in order to avoid the baby getting this medication in their mouth.
Children: Betamethasone belongs to the family of medications known as corticosteroids. Children may be more likely to experience side effects (e.g., slowing down of growth, delayed weight gain), especially if large amounts of this medication are used for long periods of time. The use of this medication by children should be limited to the smallest amount that will be effective for the shortest period of time. Discuss the risks and benefits of the use of this medication by children with your doctor.