WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases
(1997; 132 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsParasitic infections
Open this folder and view contentsInsect and arachnid bites and stings
Open this folder and view contentsSuperficial fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsSubcutaneous fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsBacterial infections
Open this folder and view contentsViral infections
Open this folder and view contentsEczematous diseases
Open this folder and view contentsScaling diseases
Open this folder and view contentsPapulosquamous diseases
View the documentCutaneous reactions to drugs
Open this folder and view contentsPigmentary disorders
Open this folder and view contentsPremalignant lesions and malignant tumours
Open this folder and view contentsPhotodermatoses
Open this folder and view contentsBullous dermatoses
View the documentAlopecia areata
View the documentUrticaria
Open this folder and view contentsConditions common in children
View the documentAcne vulgaris
View the documentPruritus
View the documentTropical ulcers
Open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntifugal drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntiseptic agents
Open this folder and view contentsKeratoplastic and keratolytic agents
Open this folder and view contentsScabicides and pediculicides
Close this folderAnti-inflammatory and antipruritic drugs1
View the documentBetamethasone
View the documentCalamine lotion
View the documentHydrocortisone
View the documentPrednisolone
Open this folder and view contentsAntiallergics and drugs used in anaphylaxis
Open this folder and view contentsUltraviolet radiation-blocking agents (sunscreens)
Open this folder and view contentsMiscellaneous drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex
View the documentSelected WHO Publications of Related Interest
View the documentBack cover
 

Betamethasone

Ointment or cream, 0.1% (as valerate)

General information

Betamethasone is a topical corticosteroid preparation of high potency. Its therapeutic effects result from vasoconstriction, reduction of membrane permeability, and suppression of mitotic activity and the immune response.

Clinical information

Uses

Short-term treatment of non-infectious dermatoses (including contact, atopic and seborrhoeic dermatitis, psoriasis and actinic prurigo).

Dosage and administration

Adults and children over 2 years: a thin layer of ointment should be applied to the affected area twice or three times daily. The frequency of application is gradually reduced as improvement occurs.

Contraindications

• Known hypersensitivity to corticosteroids.
• Infections of the skin.
• Age under 2 years.

Precautions

Prolonged therapy or treatment of large areas of skin should be avoided as adrenal suppression can occur.

Betamethasone should not be used on the face for more than 7 consecutive days.

If secondary infection occurs during treatment, betamethasone should be withdrawn and an appropriate antimicrobial given.

Use in pregnancy

Betamethasone should not be used in large amounts or for more than 2 weeks during pregnancy.

Adverse effects

Existing infections may be exacerbated.

Prolonged use can induce atrophy of the skin, particularly on the face and in skin-folds. This is characterized by thinning of the dermis, depigmentation, dilatation of superficial blood vessels and formation of striae.

Infants and young children are particularly susceptible to the local and systemic effects of topical corticosteroids. Prolonged use can result in hypercorticalism and suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Storage

Cream and ointment should be stored in well-closed containers.

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