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Betamethasone

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Brand Name: Celestone, Celestone Soluspan, Betaject, Betamethasone IM/PO

Generic Name: Betamethasone

Drug Class: Corticosteroids

What Is Betamethasone and How Does It Work?

Betamethasone is a prescription medication use to treat conditions such as allergic reactions, dermatologic disease, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal disease, hematologic disorders, neoplastic disease, ophthalmic diseases, renal diseases, rheumatic disorders, and disorders affecting the nervous system.

Betamethasone is available under the following different brand names: Celestone, Celestone Soluspan, Betaject, and Betamethasone IM/PO.

Dosages of Betamethasone:

Adult and Pediatric Dosages:

Injectable Suspension

Oral Solution

  • 0.6 mg/5 ml

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Endocrine Disorders

  • 0.6-7.2 mg orally divided twice daily/four times daily or 0.6-9 mg/day intramuscularly each day divided twice daily

Inflammatory Conditions

Adult Dosage:

  • 0.6-7.2 mg orally divided twice daily/four times daily or 0.6-9 mg/day intramuscularly each day divided twice daily

Pediatric Dosage:

  • Children under 12 years old: 0.0175-0.25 mg/kg/day intramuscular/orally divided every 6-12 hours
  • Children over 12 years old: As in adults

Rheumatoid Arthritis/Osteoarthritis

  • Intrabursal, intra-articular, intradermal: 0.25-2 ml (6 mg/ml)
    • Intralesional (6 mg/ml)
    • Very large joints: 1-2 ml
    • Large joints: 1 ml
    • Medium joints: 0.5-1 ml
    • Small joints: 0.25-0.5 ml

Adrenal Insufficiency

Pediatric only

  • Children under 12 years old: 0.0175-0.25 mg/kg/day divided every 6-12 hours intramuscularly/orally; use the lowest dose as initial dose
  • Children over 12 years old: As in adults; use lowest dose as initial dose

Administration

  • Base dosage on severity of disease and patient response

Other Indications and Uses

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Betamethasone?

Common side effects of betamethasone include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Betamethasone?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

Interactions of betamethasone include:

This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns or for more information about this medicine.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Betamethasone?

Warnings

This medication contains betamethasone. Do not take Celestone, Celestone Soluspan, Betaject, or Betamethasone Intramuscular/Oral if you are allergic to betamethasone or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

Contraindications

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • None

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Betamethasone?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Betamethasone?"

Cautions

  • Cirrhosis, ocular herpes simplex, hypertension, diverticulitis, hypothyroidism, myasthenia gravi, peptic ulcer disease, osteoporosis, ulcerative colitis, psychotic tendencies, untreated systemic infections, renal insufficiency, and pregnancy
  • Not effective in treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in premature neonates
  • Minimal sodium retention activity: however, may increase with high doses
  • If used to treat adrenocortical insufficiency should also use mineralocorticoid
  • Thromboembolic disorders
  • Myopathy
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Patients receiving corticosteroids should avoid chickenpox or measles-infected persons if unvaccinated
  • Latent tuberculosis may be reactivated (monitor patients with positive tuberculin test)
  • Some suggestion of slightly increased cleft palate risk if corticosteroids used in pregnancy, but not fully substantiated
  • Prolonged corticosteroid use may result in elevated pressure in the eye, glaucoma, and/or cataracts
  • Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered; however, the response to such vaccines cannot be predicted
  • Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy in physiologic doses (Addison's disease)
  • Epidural injection:
    • Serious neurologic events, some resulting in death, have been reported with epidural injection
    • Specific events reported include, but are not limited to, spinal cord infarction, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cortical blindness, and stroke
    • These serious neurologic events have been reported with and without use of fluoroscopy
    • Safety and effectiveness of epidural administration of corticosteroids have not been established, and corticosteroids are not approved for this use

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use betamethasone during pregnancy with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available, or neither animal nor human studies were done.
  • If breastfeeding, systemically administered corticosteroids enter breast milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other effects; use with caution if breastfeeding. Consult your doctor.
Reviewed on 7/24/2017

Medscape. Betamethasone.
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/celestone-soluspan-betamethasone-342740#0
RxList. Celestone Soluspan.
https://www.rxlist.com/celestone-soluspan-drug.htm#side_effects_interactions

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