Manufacturer: Schering AG, Germany
Pharmaceutical name: Betamethasone valerate
Pack: 1 tube (30g (0.1%))
This medicine contains the active ingredient betamethasone valerate, which is a type of medicine called a corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Inflammation of the skin happens due to the irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances that are important in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen, resulting in the irritated area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful. When betamethasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the skin cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch. Betamethasone is a potent corticosteroid that is applied to the skin to treat a wide variety of inflammatory skin diseases, such as eczema. The active ingredient is formulated in a moisturizing base that provides a layer of oil on the surface of the skin, helping to prevent water from evaporating from the skin surface. This helps reduce the dryness, scaling and itching of skin conditions such as eczema.
• An eruption of hard nodules in the skin accompanied by intense itching (prurigo nodularis)
• Area of thickened itchy skin caused by rubbing and scratching (lichen simplex) Eczema
• Inflammation or irritation of the skin caused by a reaction to irritants (contact dermatitis)
• Inflammatory skin condition with greasy, red and scaly areas (seborrhoeic dermatitis)
• Inflammatory skin disease known as discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
• Intense and widespread reddening of the skin (generalised erythroderma) in combination with oral or injected corticosteroids
• Skin disorder causing a flat, itchy, violet rash, usually on the wrists, shins, lower back and genitals (lichen planus)
• Thickened skin rash caused by excessive scratching to relieve itching (neurodermatitis)
Contraindications and cautions:
Tuberculosis of skin, herpes simplex, varicella, vaccinia, superficial fungus or yeast infections. Patients with a history of sensitivity reactions to any of its components. Application in or near the eyes should be avoided.
• If corticosteroids are used long-term, on large areas of skin, raw skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings (including nappies) they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children and on large areas of skin. You should only use airtight dressings over the affected area if instructed by your doctor.
• This preparation is for external use only.
• If you have been prescribed this medicine to treat psoriasis you should have regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis after the treatment is stopped.
• This medicine should be applied thinly and evenly to the affected area(s).
• Avoid contact of this medicine with the eyes and the moist membranes lining the inside of certain parts of the body, eg mouth, nasal passages (mucous membranes). Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
• This medicine should not be used for longer than five days on the face or in children.
• If this medicine is to be used on the face or in children, you should not use airtight dressings (including nappies) to cover the area treated, as this may increase the absorption of the medicine into the body, increasing the risk of adverse effects.
• Wash your hands thoroughly after applying this medicine, unless the hands are the area being treated.
• Consult your doctor if your skin becomes infected during treatment, as you may need to stop using this medicine and start treatment with antibiotics.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
• Thinning of the skin
• Changes in skin pigmentation
• Stretch marks (striae)
• Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia)
• Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis) The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the drugis manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. There are no significant interactions reported with this medicine. However, with long-term use on large areas of skin there may be sufficient betamethasone absorbed into the body to affect other medicines that you are taking.