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Betamethasone (By mouth)

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

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

Brand Name(s):

Celestone

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not take this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to betamethasone. You should not take this medicine if you have a fungal infection.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without checking with your doctor. You may need to use smaller and smaller doses before stopping completely.
  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew.
  • Take this medicine with food to help prevent stomach upset.
  • Measure your oral liquid dose carefully with a measuring spoon or medicine cup.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take your medicine as soon as possible unless it is almost time for your next dose.
  • Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
  • Do not take two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store your medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep the oral liquid medicine from freezing.
  • Keep this and all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking this medicine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using insulin or diabetes medicine you take by mouth.
  • Talk to your doctor before getting any vaccines (such as flu shots). Vaccines may not work as well while you are taking this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before taking this medicine.
  • This medicine should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before taking this medicine, be sure your doctor knows about any allergies, medical problems, or mental conditions you now have or have had in the past.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any events causing unusual stress or anxiety in your life. Your dose of this medicine may need to be changed.
  • It may be easier for you to get an infection while you are receiving betamethasone. Stay away from crowds or people with colds, flu, or other infections.
  • If you are exposed to chicken pox or measles, tell your doctor right away.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are taking 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, sudden swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Headache or blurred vision
  • Increased urination or thirst
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Pain in throat or trouble swallowing
  • Pain or swelling in stomach or abdomen
  • Unexplained fever, sore throat

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

  • Easy bruising, small purple spots on your skin
  • Increased hair growth
  • Increased sweating
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Mood changes or trouble sleeping
  • Redness of the face
  • Swelling in the hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Weight gain

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: 4/4/2014
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