Diprolene Lotion

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 4/28/2022

Drug Summary

What Is Diprolene Lotion?

Diprolene Lotion (betamethasone dipropionate) is a topical (for the skin) steroid used to treat inflammation caused by a number of conditions such as allergic reactions, eczema, and psoriasis. Diprolene Lotion is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Diprolene Lotion?

Common side effects of Diprolene Lotion include:

  • burning,
  • itching,
  • irritation,
  • redness,
  • dryness, or
  • peeling at the application site when first applied to the skin

This should disappear in a few days as your body adjusts to Diprolene Lotion. Other side effects of Diprolene Lotion include thinning of your skin, blistering skin, or stretch marks.

Dosage for Diprolene Lotion

The recommended dose of Diprolene Lotion is to apply a few drops to the affected skin once or twice daily and massage lightly until the lotion disappears.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Diprolene Lotion?

It is not likely other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied Diprolene Lotion. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use.

Diprolene Lotion During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, Diprolene should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk when applied to the skin. Similar medications pass into breast milk when taken by mouth. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Diprolene Lotion (betamethasone dipropionate) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

Drug Description


DIPROLENE (augmented betamethasone dipropionate) Lotion contains betamethasone dipropionate USP, a synthetic adrenocorticosteroid, for topical use. Betamethasone, an analog of prednisolone, has a high degree of corticosteroid activity and a slight degree of mineralocorticoid activity. Betamethasone dipropionate is the 17, 21-dipropionate ester of betamethasone.

Chemically, betamethasone dipropionate is 9-fluoro-11β,17,21-trihydroxy-16β-methylpregna-1,4-diene-3,20-dione 17,21-dipropionate, with the empirical formula C28H37FO7, a molecular weight of 504.6, and the following structural formula:

DIPROLENE (betamethasone dipropionate) Structural Formula Illustration

It is a white to creamy-white, odorless powder insoluble in water; freely soluble in acetone and in chloroform; sparingly soluble in alcohol.

Each gram of DIPROLENE Lotion 0.05% contains 0.643 mg betamethasone dipropionate USP (equivalent to 0.5 mg betamethasone), in a colorless, clear to translucent lotion base of hydroxypropyl cellulose; isopropyl alcohol (30%); phosphoric acid used to adjust the pH; propylene glycol; purified water; and sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate.

Indications & Dosage


DIPROLENE® Lotion is a corticosteroid indicated for the relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses in patients 13 years of age or older.


Apply a few drops of DIPROLENE Lotion to the affected skin areas once or twice daily and massage lightly until the lotion disappears.

Therapy should be discontinued when control is achieved. If no improvement is seen within 2 weeks, reassessment of diagnosis may be necessary. DIPROLENE Lotion is a super-high-potency topical corticosteroid. Treatment with DIPROLENE Lotion should be limited to 2 consecutive weeks and amounts should not exceed 50 mL per week because of the potential for the drug to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

DIPROLENE Lotion should not be used with occlusive dressings unless directed by a physician.

Avoid use on the face, groin, or axillae, or if skin atrophy is present at the treatment site.

Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands after each application.

DIPROLENE Lotion is for topical use only. It is not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use.


Dosage Forms And Strengths

Lotion, 0.05%. Each gram of DIPROLENE Lotion, 0.05% contains 0.643 mg betamethasone dipropionate (equivalent to 0.5 mg betamethasone) in a colorless, clear to translucent lotion.

Storage And Handling

DIPROLENE Lotion 0.05% is a colorless, clear to translucent lotion supplied in 30-mL (29 g) (NDC 0085-0962-01) and 60-mL (58 g) (NDC 0085-0962- 02) plastic bottles.

Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15-30°C (59-86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

Distributed by: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of MERCK & CO., INC., Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889, USA. Revised May 2019

Side Effects & Drug Interactions


Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

In controlled clinical trials, adverse reactions associated with the use of DIPROLENE Lotion reported at a frequency of less than 1% included erythema, folliculitis, pruritus, and vesiculation.

Postmarketing Experience

Because adverse reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Postmarketing reports for local adverse reactions to topical corticosteroids may also include: skin atrophy, striae, telangiectasias, burning, irritation, dryness, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, secondary infection, hypertrichosis, and miliaria.

Hypersensitivity reactions, consisting of predominantly skin signs and symptoms, e.g., contact dermatitis, pruritus, bullous dermatitis, and erythematous rash have been reported.

Ophthalmic adverse reactions of cataracts, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, and central serous chorioretinopathy have been reported with the use of topical corticosteroids, including topical betamethasone products.


No Information Provided

Warnings & Precautions


Included as part of the "PRECAUTIONS" Section


Effects On Endocrine System

DIPROLENE Lotion can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency. This may occur during treatment or after withdrawal of treatment. Factors that predispose to HPA axis suppression include the use of highpotency steroids, large treatment surface areas, prolonged use, use of occlusive dressings, altered skin barrier, liver failure, and young age.

Evaluation for HPA axis suppression may be done by using the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test.

In a trial evaluating the effects of DIPROLENE Lotion on the HPA axis, DIPROLENE Lotion was applied once daily at 7 mL per day for 21 days to diseased scalp and body skin in subjects with scalp psoriasis, DIPROLENE Lotion was shown to lower plasma cortisol levels below normal limits in 2 out of 11 subjects. HPA axis suppression in these subjects was transient and returned to normal within a week. In one of these subjects, plasma cortisol levels returned to normal while treatment continued.

If HPA axis suppression is documented, gradually withdraw the drug, reduce the frequency of application, or substitute with a less potent corticosteroid. Infrequently, signs and symptoms of steroid withdrawal may occur, requiring supplemental systemic corticosteroids.

Cushing's syndrome and hyperglycemia may also occur with topical corticosteroids. These events are rare and generally occur after prolonged exposure to excessively large doses, especially of high-potency topical corticosteroids.

Pediatric patients may be more susceptible to systemic toxicity due to their larger skin surface to body mass ratios [see Use In Specific Populations].

Ophthalmic Adverse Reactions

Use of topical corticosteroids, including DIPROLENE Lotion, may increase the risk of posterior subcapsular cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts and glaucoma have been reported postmarketing with the use of topical corticosteroid products, including DIPROLENE Lotion [see ADVERSE REACTIONS ].

Avoid contact of DIPROLENE Lotion with eyes. Advise patients to report any visual symptoms and consider referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis with corticosteroids is usually diagnosed by observing failure to heal rather than noting a clinical exacerbation. Such an observation should be corroborated with appropriate diagnostic patch testing. If irritation develops, topical corticosteroids should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted.

Patient Counseling Information

Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).

Inform patients of the following:

  • Discontinue therapy when control is achieved, unless directed otherwise by the physician.
  • Use no more than 50 mL per week of DIPROLENE Lotion and for no longer than 2 consecutive weeks.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes.
  • Advise patients to report any visual symptoms to their healthcare providers.
  • Avoid use of DIPROLENE Lotion on the face, underarms, or groin areas unless directed by the physician.
  • Do not occlude the treatment area with bandage or other covering, unless directed by the physician.
  • Note that local reactions and skin atrophy are more likely to occur with occlusive use, prolonged use or use of higher potency corticosteroids.
  • Advise a woman to use DIPROLENE Lotion on the smallest area of skin and for the shortest duration possible while pregnant or breastfeeding. Advise breastfeeding women not to apply DIPROLENE Lotion directly to the nipple and areola to avoid direct infant exposure.

Nonclinical Toxicoogy

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Long-term animal studies have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of betamethasone dipropionate. Betamethasone was negative in the bacterial mutagenicity assay (Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli), and in the mammalian cell mutagenicity assay (CHO/HGPRT). It was positive in the in vitro human lymphocyte chromosome aberration assay, and equivocal in the in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay.

Studies in rabbits, mice, and rats using intramuscular doses up to 1, 33, and 2 mg/kg, respectively, resulted in dose-related increases in fetal resorptions in rabbits and mice.

Use In Specific Populations


Risk Summary

There are no available data on DIPROLENE Lotion use in pregnant women to identify a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes.

Observational studies suggest an increased risk of low birthweight infants with the use of greater than 300 grams of potent or very potent topical corticosteroid during a pregnancy. Advise pregnant women that DIPROLENE Lotion may increase the risk of having a low birthweight infant and to use DIPROLENE Lotion on the smallest area of skin and for the shortest duration possible.

In animal reproduction studies, increased malformations, including umbilical hernias, cephalocele, and cleft palate, were observed after intramuscular administration of betamethasone dipropionate to pregnant rabbits. The available data do not allow the calculation of relevant comparisons between the systemic exposure of betamethasone dipropionate in animal studies to the systemic exposure that would be expected in humans after topical use of DIPROLENE Lotion (see Data).

The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.


Animal Data

Betamethasone dipropionate has been shown to cause malformations in rabbits when given by the intramuscular route at doses of 0.05 mg/kg. The abnormalities observed included umbilical hernias, cephalocele, and cleft palate.


Risk Summary

There are no data regarding the excretion of betamethasone dipropionate in breast milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production after topical application of DIPROLENE Lotion to women who are breastfeeding.

It is possible that topical administration of large amounts of betamethasone dipropionate could result in sufficient systemic absorption to produce detectable quantities in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for DIPROLENE Lotion and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from DIPROLENE Lotion or from the underlying maternal condition.

Clinical Considerations

To minimize potential exposure to the breastfed infant via breast milk, use DIPROLENE Lotion on the smallest area of skin and for the shortest duration possible while breastfeeding. Advise breastfeeding women not to apply DIPROLENE Lotion directly to the nipple and areola to avoid direct infant exposure [see Pediatric Use].

Pediatric Use

Use of DIPROLENE Lotion in pediatric patients younger than 13 years of age is not recommended due to the potential for HPA axis suppression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

In an open-label HPA axis safety trial in subjects 3 months to 12 years of age with atopic dermatitis, DIPROLENE AF Cream 0.05% was applied twice daily for 2 to 3 weeks over a mean body surface area of 58% (range 35% to 95%). In 19 of 60 (32%) evaluable subjects, adrenal suppression was indicated by either a ≤5 mcg/dL pre-stimulation cortisol, or a cosyntropin post-stimulation cortisol ≤18 mcg/dL and/or an increase of <7 mcg/dL from the baseline cortisol. Out of the 19 subjects with HPA axis suppression, 4 subjects were tested 2 weeks after discontinuation of DIPROLENE AF Cream, and 3 of the 4 (75%) had complete recovery of HPA axis function. The proportion of subjects with adrenal suppression in this trial was progressively greater, the younger the age group.

Because of a higher ratio of skin surface area to body mass, pediatric patients are at a greater risk than adults of systemic toxicity when treated with topical drugs. They are, therefore, also at greater risk of HPA axis suppression and adrenal insufficiency upon the use of topical corticosteroids.

Rare systemic effects such as Cushing's syndrome, linear growth retardation, delayed weight gain, and intracranial hypertension have been reported in pediatric patients, especially those with prolonged exposure to large doses of high potency topical corticosteroids.

Local adverse reactions including skin atrophy have also been reported with use of topical corticosteroids in pediatric patients.

Avoid use of DIPROLENE Lotion in the treatment of diaper dermatitis.

Geriatric Use

Clinical trials of DIPROLENE Lotion included 56 subjects who were 65 years of age and over and 9 subjects who were 75 years of age and over. There was a numerical difference for application site reactions (most frequently reported events were burning and stinging) which occurred in 15% (10/65) of geriatric subjects and 11% (38/342) of subjects less than 65 years of age. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Overdose & Contraindications


No Information Provided


DIPROLENE Lotion is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to betamethasone dipropionate, to other corticosteroids, or to any ingredient in this preparation.

Clinical Pharmacology


Mechanism Of Action

Corticosteroids play a role in cellular signaling, immune function, inflammation, and protein regulation; however, the precise mechanism of action of DIPROLENE Lotion in corticosteroid responsive dermatoses is unknown.


Vasoconstrictor Assay

Trials performed with DIPROLENE Lotion, 0.05% indicate that it is in the super-high range of potency as demonstrated in vasoconstrictor trials in healthy subjects when compared with other topical corticosteroids. However, similar blanching scores do not necessarily imply therapeutic equivalence.


No pharmacokinetic trials have been conducted with DIPROLENE Lotion.

The extent of percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids is determined by many factors including the vehicle, the integrity of the epidermal barrier, and the use of occlusive dressings.

Topical corticosteroids can be absorbed through normal intact skin. Inflammation and/or other disease processes in the skin may increase percutaneous absorption. Occlusive dressings substantially increase the percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Once absorbed through the skin, topical corticosteroids enter pharmacokinetic pathways similar to systemically administered corticosteroids.

Corticosteroids are bound to plasma proteins in varying degrees, are metabolized primarily in the liver, and excreted by the kidneys. Some of the topical corticosteroids and their metabolites are also excreted into the bile.

Clinical Studies

The safety and efficacy of DIPROLENE Lotion for the treatment of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses have been evaluated in two randomized vehicle controlled trials, one in scalp psoriasis and one in seborrheic dermatitis. A total of 263 subjects, of whom 131 received DIPROLENE Lotion, were included in these trials. These trials evaluated DIPROLENE Lotion applied once daily for 21 days.

DIPROLENE Lotion was shown to be effective in relieving the signs and symptoms of corticosteroid responsive dermatoses.

Medication Guide


(augmented betamethasone dipropionate) Lotion

Important information: DIPROLENE Lotion is for use on skin only. Do not use DIPROLENE Lotion in your eyes, mouth, or vagina.

What is DIPROLENE Lotion?

DIPROLENE Lotion is prescription corticosteroid medicine used on the skin (topical) for the relief of redness, swelling, heat, pain (inflammation) and itching, caused by certain skin problems in people 13 years of age and older.

  • DIPROLENE Lotion should not be used in children under 13 years of age.

Do not use DIPROLENE Lotion if you are allergic to betamethasone dipropionate or any of the ingredients in DIPROLENE Lotion. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in DIPROLENE Lotion.

Before using DIPROLENE Lotion, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have had irritation or other skin reaction to a steroid medicine in the past.
  • have thinning of the skin (atrophy) at the treatment site.
  • have diabetes.
  • have adrenal gland problems.
  • have liver problems.
  • have cataracts or glaucoma.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if DIPROLENE Lotion will harm your unborn baby. If you use DIPROLENE Lotion during pregnancy, use DIPROLENE Lotion on the smallest area of the skin and for the shortest time needed.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if DIPROLENE Lotion passes into your breast milk. Breastfeeding women should use DIPROLENE Lotion on the smallest area of skin and for the shortest time needed while breastfeeding. Do not apply DIPROLENE Lotion directly to the nipple and areola to avoid contact with your baby.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take other corticosteroid medicines by mouth, or injection or use other products on your skin or scalp that contain corticosteroids.

Do not use other products containing a steroid medicine with DIPROLENE Lotion without talking to your healthcare provider first.

How should I use DIPROLENE Lotion?

  • Use DIPROLENE Lotion exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.
  • Apply a few drops of DIPROLENE Lotion to the affected skin area 1 or 2 times each day and massage lightly until the lotion disappears. Do not use more than 50 mL of DIPROLENE Lotion in 1 week.
  • Do not use DIPROLENE Ointment for longer than 2 weeks in a row unless your healthcare provider tells you to
  • Tell your healthcare provider if the treated skin area does not get better after 2 weeks of treatment with DIPROLENE Lotion.
  • Do not bandage, cover, or wrap the treated skin area unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • DIPROLENE Lotion should not be used to treat diaper rash or redness.
  • Avoid using DIPROLENE Lotion on the face, groin, or underarms (armpits) or if thinning of the skin (atrophy) is present at the treatment site.
  • Wash your hands after applying DIPROLENE Lotion unless you are using the medicine to treat your hands.

What are the possible side effects of DIPROLENE Lotion?

DIPROLENE Lotion may cause serious side effects, including:

  • DIPROLENE Lotion can pass through your skin. Too much DIPROLENE Lotion passing through your skin can cause your adrenal glands to stop working properly. Your healthcare provider may do blood tests to check for adrenal gland problems.
  • Cushing's syndrome, a condition that happens when your body is exposed to too much of the hormone cortisol.
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia).
  • Effects on growth and weight in children.
  • Vision problems. Topical corticosteroids including DIPROLENE Lotion may increase your chance of developing cataract(s) and glaucoma. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop blurred vision or other vision problems during treatment with DIPROLENE Lotion.
  • Skin problems. Skin problems including, allergic reactions (contact dermatitis) may happen during treatment with DIPROLENE Lotion. Stop using DIPROLENE Lotion and tell your healthcare provider if you develop any skin reactions or have problems with healing during treatment with DIPROLENE Lotion.

The most common side effects of DIPROLENE Lotion include: redness of the skin, inflamed hair follicles, itching and blistering. These are not all of the possible side effects of DIPROLENE Lotion.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store DIPROLENE Lotion?

  • Store DIPROLENE Lotion at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep DIPROLENE Lotion and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about the safe and effective use of DIPROLENE Lotion.

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use DIPROLENE Lotion for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give DIPROLENE Lotion to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider for information about DIPROLENE Lotion that is written for health professionals.

What are the ingredients in DIPROLENE Lotion?

Active ingredient: augmented betamethasone dipropionate

Inactive ingredients: hydroxypropyl cellulose; isopropyl alcohol (30%); phosphoric acid used to adjust the pH; propylene glycol; purified water; and sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.