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Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 378-44-9
ATC code A07EA04 C05AA05 D07AC01 D07XC01 H02AB01 R01AD06 R03BA04 S01BA06 S01CB04 S02BA07 S03BA03
PubChem 9782
DrugBank APRD00513
Chemical data
Formula C22H29FO5 
Mol. mass 392.461
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability  ?
Metabolism hepatic CYP3A4
Half life 5.6 hours
Excretion  ?
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat.


Legal status

Prescription only

Routes oral or topical

Betamethasone is a moderate-potent glucocorticoid steroid with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive abilities, used especially where water retention is undesirable. It is applied as a topical cream, ointment, foam, lotion or gel to treat itching (e.g. from eczema).

It is available as a number of esters: Dipropionate (branded as Diprosone, Diprolene and others), Sodium Phosphate and Valerate (branded as Betnovate, Celestone and others).

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.


Betamethasone is a corticosteroid used to stimulate fetal lung maturation, 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.

0.05% Betamethasone cream 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.

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 leucocytosis in newborns exposed in utero.


    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Betamethasone". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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