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Betamethasone: Wikis


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Systematic (IUPAC) name
(8S,9R,10S,11S,13S,14S,16S,17R)-9-fluoro- 11,17-dihydroxy-17-(2-hydroxyacetyl)-10,13,16-trimethyl- 6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17-dodecahydro- 3H-cyclopenta[a]phenanthren-3-one
CAS number 378-44-9
ATC code A07EA04 C05AA05 D07AC01 D07XC01 H02AB01 R01AD06 R03BA04 S01BA06 S01CB04 S02BA07 S03BA03
PubChem 9782
DrugBank APRD00513
ChemSpider 9399
Chemical data
Formula C22H29FO5 
Mol. mass 392.461
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism hepatic CYP3A4
Half life 5.6 hours
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat. C(US)
Legal status Prescription only
Routes oral or topical
 Yes check.svgY(what is this?)  (verify)

Betamethasone is a moderately potent glucocorticoid steroid with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. Unlike other drugs with these effects, betamethasone does not cause water retention. It is applied as a topical cream, ointment, foam, lotion or gel to treat itching (e.g., from eczema). Betamethasone sodium phosphate is sometimes prescribed as an intramuscular injection (I.M) for itching from various ailments including allergic reactions to poison ivy and similar plants.

The compound is available as a number of ester derivatives: betamethasone dipropionate (branded as Diprosone, Diprolene and others), sodium phosphate and valerate (branded as Betnovate, Celestone and others). In the United States and Canada, betamethasone is mixed with clotrimazole and sold as Lotrisone.



Betamethasone is a corticosteroid used to stimulate fetal lung maturation (prevention of IRDS), and to decrease the incidence and mortality from intracranial hemorrhage in premature infants.

It is also used as a topical cream to relieve skin irritation. The tablet form, available in Japan, eradicates eczematous rash within 24 hours, far more rapidly than the ointment.

A cream with 0.05% betamethasone appears effective in treating phimosis in boys, and often averts the need for circumcision.

Betamethasone sodium phosphate is used orally and via injection with the same indications as other steroids.

Betamethasone dipropionate and salicylic acid can be used as a treatment for local psoriasis.

Side effects

When betamethasone is applied topically to treat skin inflammation, persistent application of large quantities may result in a more severe rebound inflammation when the medication is withdrawn, sometimes called "Betnovate face".[citation needed]

Fetal risk

As it crosses the placenta, which is required for its beneficial effects, it may also be associated with complications, such as hypoglycemia and leukocytosis in newborns exposed in utero.


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