Health Guide

Betamethasone (By injection)

Betamethasone (bay-ta-METH-a-sone)

Treats inflammation and many other medical problems. This medicine is a corticosteroid.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to betamethasone or if you have a fungal infection.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into a muscle, a vein, a joint such as a knee or shoulder, or a lesion on your skin.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • Missed dose: You must use this medicine on a fixed schedule. Call your doctor or pharmacist if you miss a dose.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how betamethasone works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Aminoglutethimide, carbamazepine, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, ketoconazole, phenytoin, rifampin
    • Antibiotics
    • Barbiturates
    • Blood thinner, such as warfarin
    • Diabetes medicine
    • Diuretic (water pill)
    • Estrogen or birth control pills
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine, such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib
    • Other steroids, such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisone
    • Tuberculosis (TB) medicine
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • This medicine may cause problems if you have certain medical conditions. Tell your doctor about any allergies, medical problems, or mental conditions you now have or had in the past.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any events causing unusual stress or anxiety in your life. Your dose may need to be changed.
  • It may be easier for you to get an infection while you are taking this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you are exposed to chickenpox or measles.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are receiving betamethasone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Headache or blurred vision
  • Increased urination or thirst
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Pain in your throat or trouble swallowing
  • Seizures
  • Unexplained fever, sore throat

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Easy bruising, small purple spots on your skin, redness of the face
  • Increased hair growth
  • Increased sweating
  • Weight gain, swelling in your hands, arms, feet, or legs

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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