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betamethasone acetate and sodium phosphate
Pharmacologic class: Glucocorticoid (inhalation)
Therapeutic class: Antiasthmatic, antiinflammatory (steroidal)
Pregnancy risk category C
Stabilizes lysosomal neutrophils and prevents their degranulation, inhibits synthesis of lipoxygenase products and prostaglandins, activates anti-inflammatory genes, and inhibits various cytokines
Solution for injection: 3 mg betamethasone sodium phosphate with 3 mg betamethasone acetate/ml
Suspension for injection (acetate, phosphate): 6 mg (total)/ml
Syrup: 0.6 mg/5 ml
Tablets: 0.6 mg
Tablets (effervescent): 0.5 mg
Tablets (extended-release): 1 mg
Indications and dosages
➣ Inflammatory, allergic, hematologic, neoplastic, autoimmune, and respiratory diseases; prevention of organ rejection after transplantation surgery
Adults: 0.6 to 7.2 mg/day P.O. as single daily dose or in divided doses; or up to 9 mg I.M. of betamethasone acetate and sodium phosphate suspension.
➣ Bursitis or tenosynovitis
Adults: 1 ml of suspension intrabursally
➣ Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis
Adults: 0.5 to 2 ml of suspension intra-articularly
• Respiratory distress syndrome
• Hypersensitivity to drug
Use cautiously in:
• systemic infections, hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus, glaucoma, renal disease, hypothyroidism, cirrhosis, diverticulitis, thromboembolic disorders, seizures, myasthenia gravis, heart failure, ocular herpes simplex, emotional instability
• patients receiving systemic corticosteroids
• pregnant patients
• children younger than age 6.
• Give as a single daily dose before 9:00 A.M.
• Give oral dose with food or milk.
• Administer I.M. injection deep into gluteal muscle (may cause tissue atrophy).
☞ Don't give betamethasone acetate I.V.
• Be aware that typical suspension dosage ranges from one-third to one-half of oral dosage given q 12 hours.
☞ To avoid adrenal insufficiency, taper dosage slowly and under close supervision when discontinuing.
• Know that drug may be given with other immunosuppressants.
CNS: headache, nervousness, depression, euphoria, psychoses, increased intracranial pressure
CV: hypertension, thrombophlebitis, thromboembolism
EENT: cataracts, burning and dryness of eyes, rebound nasal congestion, sneezing, epistaxis, nasal septum perforation, difficulty speaking, oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal fungal infections
GI: nausea, vomiting, anorexia, dry mouth, esophageal candidiasis, peptic ulcers
Metabolic: decreased growth, hyperglycemia, cushingoid appearance, adrenal insufficiency or suppression
Musculoskeletal: muscle wasting, muscle pain, osteoporosis, aseptic joint necrosis
Respiratory: cough, wheezing, bronchospasm
Skin: facial edema, rash, contact dermatitis, acne, ecchymosis, hirsutism, petechiae, urticaria, angioedema
Other: loss of taste, bad taste, weight gain or loss, Churg-Strauss syndrome, increased susceptibility to infection, hypersensitivity reaction
Drug-drug. Amphotericin B, loop and thiazide diuretics, ticarcillin: additive hypokalemia
Barbiturates, phenytoin, rifampin: stimulation of betamethasone metabolism, causing decreased drug effects
Digoxin: increased risk of digoxin toxicity
Fluoroquinolones (such as ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin): increased risk of tendon rupture
Hormonal contraceptives: blockage of betamethasone metabolism
Insulin, oral hypoglycemics: increased betamethasone dosage requirement, diminished hypoglycemic effects
Live-virus vaccines: decreased antibody response to vaccine, increased risk of neurologic complications
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: increased risk of adverse GI effects
Drug-diagnostic tests. Calcium, potassium: decreased levels
Cholesterol, glucose: increased levels
Nitroblue tetrazolium test for bacterial
infection: false-negative result
Drug-herbs. Echinacea: increased immune-stimulating effects
Ginseng: increased immune-modulating effects
Drug-behaviors. Alcohol use: increased risk of gastric irritation and GI ulcers
• Monitor weight daily and report sudden increase, which suggests fluid retention.
• Monitor blood glucose level for hyperglycemia.
• Assess serum electrolyte levels for sodium and potassium imbalances.
• Watch for signs and symptoms of infection (which drug may mask).
• Advise patient to report signs and symptoms of infection.
• Tell patient to report visual disturbances (long-term drug use may cause cataracts).
• Instruct patient to eat low-sodium, high potassium diet.
☞ Advise patient to carry medical identification describing drug therapy.
• Inform female patients that drug may cause menstrual irregularities.
☞ Caution patient not to stop taking drug abruptly.
• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, herbs, and behaviors mentioned above.