betamethasone (generic name)

It helps to reduce swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions
(bay ta METH a sone)
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What is this medicine?

BETAMETHASONE (bay ta METH a sone) is a corticosteroid. It helps to reduce swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions. It is used to treat asthma, allergies, arthritis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. It is also used for other conditions, like blood disorders and diseases of the adrenal glands.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • blood clotting problems
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • diabetes
  • heart problems or disease
  • high blood pressure
  • infection like chickenpox, fungus, herpes, measles, or tuberculosis
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • mental problems
  • myasthenia gravis
  • osteoporosis
  • seizures
  • stomach, intestinal disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to betamethasone, corticosteroids, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take with food or milk to avoid stomach upset. If you are taking this medicine once a day, take it in the morning. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, talk to your doctor or health care professional. You may need to miss a dose or take an extra dose. Do not take double or extra doses without advice.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • mifepristone
  • radiopaque contrast agents

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • aspirin
  • vaccines
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. If you are taking this medicine over a prolonged period, carry an identification card with your name and address, the type and dose of your medicine, and your doctor's name and address.

This medicine may increase your risk of getting an infection. Stay away from people who are sick. Tell your doctor or health care professional if you are around anyone with measles or chickenpox.

If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have taken this medicine within the last twelve months.

Ask your doctor or health care professional about your diet. You may need to lower the amount of salt you eat.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

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Last Updated: March 18, 2009
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