Betamethasone valerate is a potent topical corticosteroid indicated for adults, elderly and children over 1 year for the relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of steroid responsive dermatoses. These include the following:
Atopic dermatitis (including infantile atopic dermatitis)
Nummular dermatitis (discoid eczema)
Psoriasis (excluding widespread plaque psoriasis)
Lichen simplex chronicus (neurodermatitis) and lichen planus
Irritant or allergic contact dermatitis
Discoid lupus erythematosus
Adjunct to systemic steroid therapy in generalised erythroderma
Insect bite reactions
Allergic states: Control of severe or incapacitating allergic conditions intractable to adequate trials of conventional treatment in asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, drug hypersensitivity reactions, perennial or seasonal allergic rhinitis, serum sickness.
Dermatologic diseases: Bullous dermatitis herpetiformis, exfoliative erythroderma, mycosis fungoides, pemphigus, severe erythema multiforme (Stevens-Johnson syndrome).
Endocrine disorders: Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypercalcemia associated with cancer, nonsuppurative thyroiditis.
Hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice in primary or secondary adrenocortical insufficiency. Synthetic analogs may be used in conjunction with mineralocorticoids where applicable; in infancy mineralocorticoid supplementation is of particular importance.
Gastrointestinal diseases: To tide the patient over a critical period of the disease in regional enteritis and ulcerative colitis.
Hematologic disorders: Acquired (autoimmune) hemolytic anemia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in adults, pure red cell aplasia, selected cases of secondary thrombocytopenia.
Miscellaneous: Trichinosis with neurologic or myocardial involvement, tuberculous meningitis with subarachnoid block or impending block when used with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy.
Neoplastic diseases: For the palliative management of leukemias and lymphomas.
Nervous System: Acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis; cerebral edema associated with primary or metastatic brain tumor, craniotomy, or head injury.
Ophthalmic diseases: Sympathetic ophthalmia, temporal arteritis, uveitis and ocular inflammatory conditions unresponsive to topical corticosteroids.
Renal diseases: To induce diuresis or remission of proteinuria in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome or that due to lupus erythematosus.
Respiratory diseases: Berylliosis, fulminating or disseminated pulmonary tuberculosis when used concurrently with appropriate antituberculous chemotherapy, idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonias, symptomatic sarcoidosis.
Rheumatic disorders: As adjunctive therapy for short-term administration (to tide the patient over an acute episode or exacerbation) in acute gouty arthritis; acute rheumatic carditis; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (selected cases may require low-dose maintenance therapy). For the treatment of dermatomyositis, polymyositis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Route of administration: Cutaneous
Creams are especially appropriate for moist or weeping surfaces.
Apply thinly and gently rub in using only enough to cover the entire affected area once or twice daily for up to 4 weeks until improvement occurs, then reduce the frequency of application or change the treatment to a less potent preparation.
Allow adequate time for absorption after each application before applying an emollient.
In the more resistant lesions, such as the thickened plaques of psoriasis on elbows and knees, the effect of betamethasone valerate can be enhanced, if necessary, by occluding the treatment area with polythene film. Overnight occlusion only is usually adequate to bring about a satisfactory response in such lesions; thereafter, improvement can usually be maintained by regular application without occlusion.
If the condition worsens or does not improve within 2-4 weeks, treatment and diagnosis should be re-evaluated.
Therapy with betamethasone valerate should be gradually discontinued once control is achieved and an emollient continued as maintenance therapy.
Rebound of pre-existing dermatoses can occur with abrupt discontinuation of betamethasone valerate.
Patients who frequently relapse
Once an acute episode has been treated effectively with a continuous course of topical corticosteroid, intermittent dosing (apply once a day twice a week without occlusion) may be considered. This has been shown to be helpful in reducing the frequency of relapse.
Application should be continued to all previously affected sites or to known sites of potential relapse. This regimen should be combined with routine daily use of emollients. The condition and the benefits and risks of continued treatment must be re-evaluated on a regular basis.
Betamethasone valerate is contraindicated in children under one year of age.
Children are more likely to develop local and systemic side effects of topical corticosteroids and, in general, require shorter courses and less potent agents than adults; therefore, courses should be limited to five days and occlusion should not be used.
Care should be taken when using betamethasone valerate to ensure the amount applied is the minimum that provides therapeutic benefit.
Clinical studies have not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. The greater frequency of decreased hepatic or renal function in the elderly may delay elimination if systemic absorption occurs. Therefore the minimum quantity should be used for the shortest duration to achieve the desired clinical benefit.
Renal / Hepatic Impairment
In case of systemic absorption (when application is over a large surface area for a prolonged period) metabolism and elimination may be delayed therefore increasing the risk of systemic toxicity. Therefore the minimum quantity should be used for the shortest duration to achieve the desired clinical benefit.
The initial dosage of Acepot Syrup (betamethasone) may vary from 0.6 mg to 7.2 mg per day depending on the specific disease entity being treated.
IT SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED THAT DOSAGE REQUIREMENTS ARE VARIABLE AND MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED ON THE BASIS OF THE DISEASE UNDER TREATMENT AND THE RESPONSE OF THE PATIENT. After a favorable response is noted, the proper maintenance dosage should be determined by decreasing the initial drug dosage in small decrements at appropriate time intervals until the lowest dosage which will maintain an adequate clinical response is reached. Situations which may make dosage adjustments necessary are changes in clinical status secondary to remissions or exacerbations in the disease process, the patient's individual drug responsiveness, and the effect of patient exposure to stressful situations not directly related to the disease entity under treatment. In this latter situation it may be necessary to increase the dosage of the corticosteroid for a period of time consistent with the patient's condition. If after long-term therapy the drug is to be stopped, it is recommended that it be withdrawn gradually rather than abruptly.
In the treatment of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, daily doses of 30 mg of betamethasone for a week followed by 12 mg every other day for one month are recommended (see PRECAUTIONS, Neuro-psychiatric).
In pediatric patients, the initial dose of betamethasone may vary depending on the specific disease entity being treated. The range of initial doses is 0.02 to 0.3 mg/kg/day in three or four divided doses (0.6 to 9 mg/m2 bsa/day).
For the purpose of comparison, the following is the equivalent milligram dosage of the various glucocorticoids:
|Cortisone, 25||Triamcinolone, 4|
|Hydrocortisone, 20||Paramethasone, 2|
|Prednisolone, 5||Betamethasone, 0.75|
|Prednisone, 5||Dexamethasone, 0.75|
These dose relationships apply only to oral or intravenous administration of these compounds. When these substances or their derivatives are injected intramuscularly or into joint spaces, their relative properties may be greatly altered.
The following conditions should not be treated with betamethasone valerate:
- Untreated cutaneous infections
o Acne vulgaris
o Pruritus without inflammation
o Perianal and genital pruritus
o Perioral dermatitis
Betamethasone valerate is contraindicated in dermatoses in infants under one year of age, including dermatitis
Acepot Syrup (betamethasone) is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any components of this product.
Betamethasone valerate should be used with caution in patients with a history of local hypersensitivity to other corticosteroids. Local hypersensitivity reactions may resemble symptoms of the condition under treatment.
Manifestations of hypercortisolism (Cushing's syndrome) and reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, leading to glucocorticosteroid insufficiency, can occur in some individuals as a result of increased systemic absorption of topical steroids. If either of the above are observed, withdraw the drug gradually by reducing the frequency of application, or by substituting a less potent corticosteroid. Abrupt withdrawal of treatment may result in glucocorticosteroid insufficiency .
Risk factors for increased systemic effects are:
o Potency and formulation of topical steroid
o Duration of exposure
o Application to a large surface area
o Use on occluded areas of skin e.g. on intertriginous areas or under occlusive dressings (in infants the nappy may act as an occlusive dressing)
o Increasing hydration of the stratum corneum
o Use on thin skin areas such as the face
o Use on broken skin or other conditions where the skin barrier may be impaired
o In comparison with adults, children may absorb proportionally larger amounts of topical corticosteroids and thus be more susceptible to systemic adverse effects. This is because children have an immature skin barrier and a greater surface area to body weight ratio compared with adults.
In infants and children under 12 years of age, treatment courses should be limited to five days and occlusion should not be used; long-term continuous topical corticosteroid therapy should be avoided where possible, as adrenal suppression can occur.
Infection risk with occlusion
Bacterial infection is encouraged by the warm, moist conditions within skin folds or caused by occlusive dressings. When using occlusive dressings, the skin should be cleansed before a fresh dressing is applied.
Use in Psoriasis
Topical corticosteroids should be used with caution in psoriasis as rebound relapses, development of tolerances, risk of generalised pustular psoriasis and development of local or systemic toxicity due to impaired barrier function of the skin have been reported in some cases. If used in psoriasis careful patient supervision is important.
Application to the face
Prolonged application to the face is undesirable as this area is more susceptible to atrophic changes; therefore, treatment courses should be limited to five days and occlusion should not be used.
Application to the eyelids
If applied to the eyelids, care is needed to ensure that the preparation does not enter the eye, as cataract and glaucoma might result from repeated exposure.
Visual disturbance may be reported with systemic and topical corticosteroid use. If a patient presents with symptoms such as blurred vision or other visual disturbances, the patient should be considered for referral to an ophthalmologist for evaluation of possible causes which may include cataract, glaucoma or rare diseases such as central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) which have been reported after use of systemic and topical corticosteroids.
Appropriate antimicrobial therapy should be used whenever treating inflammatory lesions which have become infected. Any spread of infection requires withdrawal of topical corticosteroid therapy and administration of appropriate antimicrobial therapy.
Chronic leg ulcers
Topical corticosteroids are sometimes used to treat the dermatitis around chronic leg ulcers. However, this use may be associated with a higher occurrence of local hypersensitivity reactions and an increased risk of local infection.
Healthcare professionals should be aware that if this product comes into contact with dressings, clothing and bedding, the fabric can be easily ignited with a naked flame. Patients should be warned of this risk and advised to keep away from fire when using this product.
Acepot contains chlorocresol which may cause allergic reactions and cetostearyl alcohol which may cause local skin reactions (e.g. contact dermatitis).
Rare instances of anaphylactoid reactions have occurred in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
In patients on corticosteroid therapy subjected to any unusual stress hydrocortisone or cortisone is the drug of choice as a supplement during and after the event.
Average and large doses of corticosteroids can cause elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention, and increased excretion of potassium. These effects are less likely to occur with the synthetic derivatives except when used in large doses. Dietary salt restriction and potassium supplementation may be necessary. All corticosteroids increase calcium excretion. Literature reports suggest an apparent association between use of corticosteroids and left ventricular free wall rupture after a recent myocardial infarction; therefore, therapy with corticosteroids should be used with great caution in these patients.
Corticosteroids can produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression with the potential for glucocorticosteroid insufficiency after withdrawal of treatment. Metabolic clearance of corticosteroids is decreased in hypothyroid patients and increased in hyperthyroid patients. Changes in thyroid status of the patient may necessitate adjustment in dosage.
Patients who are on corticosteroids are more susceptible to infections than are healthy individuals. There may be decreased resistance and inability to localize infection when corticosteroids are used. Infection with any pathogen (viral, bacterial, fungal, protozoan or helminthic) in any location of the body may be associated with the use of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents. These infections may be mild to severe. With increasing doses of corticosteroids, the rate of occurrence of infectious complications increases. Corticosteroids may also mask some signs of current infection.
Corticosteroids may exacerbate systemic fungal infections and therefore should not be used in the presence of such infections unless they are needed to control drug reactions. There have been cases reported in which concomitant use of amphotericin B and hydrocortisone was followed by cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure (see PRECAUTIONS: DRUG INTERACTIONS, Amphotericin B injection and potassium-depleting agents).
Latent disease may be activated or there may be an exacerbation of intercurrent infections due to pathogens, including those caused by Amoeba, Candida, Cryptococcus, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Pneumocystis, Toxoplasma.
It is recommended that latent amebiasis or active amebiasis be ruled out before initiating corticosteroid therapy in any patient who has spent time in the tropics or in any patient with unexplained diarrhea.
Similarly, corticosteroids should be used with great care in patients with known or suspected Strongyloides (threadworm) infestation. In such patients, corticosteroid-induced immunosuppression may lead to Strongyloides hyperinfection and dissemination with widespread larval migration, often accompanied by severe enterocolitis and potentially fatal gram-negative septicemia.
Corticosteroids should not be used in cerebral malaria.
The use of corticosteroids in active tuberculosis should be restricted to those cases of fulminating or disseminated tuberculosis in which the corticosteroid is used for the management of the disease in conjunction with an appropriate antituberculous regimen.
If corticosteroids are indicated in patients with latent tuberculosis or tuberculin reactivity, close observation is necessary as reactivation of the disease may occur. During prolonged corticosteroid therapy, these patients should receive chemoprophylaxis.
Administration of live or live, attenuated vaccines is contraindicated in patients receiving immunosuppressive doses of corticosteroids. Killed or inactivated vaccines may be administered. However, the response to such vaccines can not be predicted.Immunization procedures may be undertaken in patients who are receiving corticosteroids as replacement therapy, e.g., for Addison's disease.
Chicken pox and measles can have a more serious or even fatal course in pediatric and adult patients on corticosteroids. In pediatric and adult patients who have not had these diseases, particular care should be taken to avoid exposure. The contribution of the underlying disease and/or prior corticosteroid treatment to the risk is also not known. If exposed to chicken pox, prophylaxis with varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) may be indicated. If exposed to measles, prophylaxis with immunoglobulin (IG) may be indicated. (See the respective package inserts for complete VZIG and IG prescribing information.) If chicken pox develops, treatment with antiviral agents should be considered.
Use of corticosteroids may produce posterior subcapsular cataracts, glaucoma with possible damage to the optic nerves, and may enhance the establishment of secondary ocular infections due to bacteria, fungi, or viruses. The use of oral corticosteroids is not recommended in the treatment of optic neuritis and may lead to an increase in the risk of new episodes. Corticosteroids should not be used in active ocular herpes simplex.
The lowest possible dose of corticosteroid should be used to control the condition under treatment. When reduction in dosage is possible, the reduction should be gradual. Since complications of treatment with glucocorticoids are dependent on the size of the dose and the duration of treatment, a risk/benefit decision must be made in each individual case as to dose and duration of treatment and as to whether daily or intermittent therapy should be used.
Kaposi's sarcoma has been reported to occur in patients receiving corticosteroid therapy, most often for chronic conditions. Discontinuation of corticosteroids may result in clinical improvement.
As sodium retention with resultant edema and potassium loss may occur in patients receiving corticosteroids, these agents should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, hypertension, or renal insufficiency.
Drug-induced secondary adrenocortical insufficiency may be minimized by gradual reduction of dosage. This type of relative insufficiency may persist for months after discontinuation of therapy; therefore, in any situation of stress occurring during that period, naturally occurring glucocorticoids (hydrocortisone and cortisone), which also have salt-retaining properties, rather than betamethasone, are the appropriate choices as replacement therapy in adrenocortical deficiency states.
Steroids should be used with caution in active or latent peptic ulcers, diverticulitis, fresh intestinal anastomoses, and nonspecific ulcerative colitis, since they may increase the risk of a perforation.
Signs of peritoneal irritation following gastrointestinal perforation in patients receiving corticosteroids may be minimal or absent.
There is an enhanced effect of corticosteroids in patients with cirrhosis.
Corticosteroids decrease bone formation and increase bone resorption both through their effect on calcium regulation (i.e., decreasing absorption and increasing excretion) and inhibition of osteoblast function. This, together with a decrease in the protein matrix of the bone secondary to an increase in protein catabolism, and reduced sex hormone production, may lead to inhibition of bone growth in pediatric patients and the development of osteoporosis at any age. Special consideration should be given to patients at increased risk of osteoporosis (i.e., postmenopausal women) before initiating corticosteroid therapy.
Although controlled clinical trials have shown corticosteroids to be effective in speeding the resolution of acute exacerbations of multiple sclerosis, they do not show that they affect the ultimate outcome or natural history of the disease. The studies do show that relatively high doses of corticosteroids are necessary to demonstrate a significant effect. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
An acute myopathy has been observed with the use of high doses of corticosteroids, most often occurring in patients with disorders of neuromuscular transmission (e.g., myasthenia gravis), or in patients receiving concomitant therapy with neuromuscular blocking drugs (e.g., pancuronium). This acute myopathy is generalized, may involve ocular and respiratory muscles, and may result in quadriparesis. Elevation of creatinine kinase may occur. Clinical improvement or recovery after stopping corticosteroids may require weeks to years.
Psychic derangements may appear when corticosteroids are used, ranging from euphoria, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and severe depression to frank psychotic manifestations. Also, existing emotional instability or psychotic tendencies may be aggravated by corticosteroids.
Intraocular pressure may become elevated in some individuals. If steroid therapy is continued for more than 6 weeks, intraocular pressure should be monitored.
No adequate studies have been conducted in animals to determine whether corticosteroids have a potential for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis.
Steroids may increase or decrease motility and number of spermatozoa in some patients.
Corticosteroids have been shown to be teratogenic in many species when given in doses equivalent to the human dose. Animal studies in which corticosteroids have been given to pregnant mice, rats, and rabbits have yielded an increased incidence of cleft palate in the offspring. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Corticosteroids should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Infants born to mothers who have received corticosteroids during pregnancy should be carefully observed for signs of hypoadrenalism.
Systemically administered corticosteroids appear in human milk and could suppress growth, interfere with endogenous corticosteroid production, or cause other untoward effects. Caution should be exercised when corticosteroids are administered to a nursing woman.
The efficacy and safety of corticosteroids in the pediatric population are based on the well-established course of effect of corticosteroids which is similar in pediatric and adult populations. Published studies provide evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric patients for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome ( > 2 years of age), and aggressive lymphomas and leukemias ( > 1 month of age). Other indications for pediatric use of corticosteroids, e.g., severe asthma and wheezing, are based on adequate and well-controlled trials conducted in adults, on the premises that the course of the diseases and their pathophysiology are considered to be substantially similar in both populations.
The adverse effects of corticosteroids in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Like adults, pediatric patients should be carefully observed with frequent measurements of blood pressure, weight, height, intraocular pressure, and clinical evaluation for the presence of infection, psychosocial disturbances, thromboembolism, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and osteoporosis. Pediatric patients who are treated with corticosteroids by any route, including systemically administered corticosteroids, may experience a decrease in their growth velocity. This negative impact of corticosteroids on growth has been observed at low systemic doses and in the absence of laboratory evidence of HPA axis suppression (i.e., cosyntropin stimulation and basal cortisol plasma levels). Growth velocity may therefore be a more sensitive indicator of systemic corticosteroid exposure in pediatric patients than some commonly used tests of HPA axis function. The linear growth of pediatric patients treated with corticosteroids should be monitored, and the potential growth effects of prolonged treatment should be weighed against clinical benefits obtained and the availability of treatment alternatives. In order to minimize the potential growth effects of corticosteroids, pediatric patients should be titrated to the lowest effective dose.
No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between elderly subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
There have been no studies to investigate the effect of betamethasone valerate on driving performance or the ability to operate machinery. A detrimental effect on such activities would not be anticipated from the adverse reaction profile of topical betamethasone valerate.
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are listed below by MedDRA system organ class and by frequency. Frequencies are defined as: very common (>1/10), common (>1/100 and <1/10), uncommon (>1/1,000 and <1/100), rare (>1/10,000 and <1/1,000) and very rare (<1/10,000), including isolated reports.
Infections and Infestations
Immune System Disorders
Hypersensitivity, generalised rash
Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression
Cushingoid features (e.g. moon face, central obesity), delayed weight gain/growth retardation in children, osteoporosis, glaucoma, hyperglycaemia/glucosuria, cataract, hypertension, increased weight/obesity, decreased endogenous cortisol levels, alopecia, trichorrhexis
Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders
Pruritus, local skin burning /skin pain
Allergic contact dermatitis /dermatitis, erythema, rash, urticaria, pustular psoriasis, skin thinning* / skin atrophy*, skin wrinkling*, skin dryness*, striae*, telangiectasias*, pigmentation changes*, hypertrichosis, exacerbation of underlying symptoms
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
Application site irritation/pain
*Skin features secondary to local and/or systemic effects of hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis suppression.
Reporting of suspected reactions:
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
(listed alphabetically, under each subsection)
Allergic reactions: Anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema.
Cardiovascular: Bradycardia, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac enlargement, circulatory collapse, congestive heart failure, fat embolism, hypertension, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in premature infants, myocardial rupture following recent myocardial infarction (see WARNINGS), pulmonary edema, syncope, tachycardia, thromboembolism, thrombophlebitis, vasculitis.
Dermatologic: Acne, allergic dermatitis, dry scaly skin, ecchymoses and petechiae, edema, erythema, impaired wound healing, increased sweating, rash, striae, suppressed reactions to skin tests, thin fragile skin, thinning scalp hair, urticaria.
Endocrine: Decreased carbohydrate and glucose tolerance, development of cushingoid state, glycosuria, hirsutism, hypertrichosis, increased requirements for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents in diabetes, manifestations of latent diabetes mellitus, menstrual irregularities, secondary adrenocortical and pituitary unresponsiveness (particularly in times of stress, as in trauma, surgery, or illness), suppression of growth in pediatric patients.
Fluid and electrolyte disturbances: Congestive heart failure in susceptible patients, fluid retention, hypokalemic alkalosis, potassium loss, sodium retention.
Gastrointestinal: Abdominal distention, elevation in serum liver enzyme levels (usually reversible upon discontinuation), hepatomegaly, increased appetite, nausea, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer with possible perforation and hemorrhage, perforation of the small and large intestine (particularly in patients with inflammatory bowel disease), ulcerative esophagitis.
Metabolic: Negative nitrogen balance due to protein catabolism.
Musculoskeletal: Aseptic necrosis of femoral and humeral heads, loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, pathologic fracture of long bones, steroid myopathy, tendon rupture, vertebral compression fractures.
Neurologic/Psychiatric: Convulsions, depression, emotional instability, euphoria, headache, increased intracranial pressure with papilledema (pseudotumor cerebri) usually following discontinuation of treatment, insomnia, mood swings, neuritis, neuropathy, paresthesia, personality changes, psychic disorders, vertigo.
Ophthalmic: Exophthalmos, glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure, posterior subcapsular cataracts.
Other: Abnormal fat deposits, decreased resistance to infection, hiccups, increased or decreased motility and number of spermatozoa, malaise, moon face, weight gain.
Symptoms and signs
Topically applied betamethasone valerate may be absorbed in sufficient amounts to produce systemic effects. Acute overdosage is very unlikely to occur, however, in the case of chronic overdosage or misuse the features of hypercortisolism may occur .
In the event of overdose, betamethasone valerate should be withdrawn gradually by reducing the frequency of application, or by substituting a less potent corticosteroid because of the risk of glucocorticosteroid insufficiency.
Further management should be as clinically indicated or as recommended by the national poisons centre, where available.
Treatment of acute overdosage is by immediate gastric lavage or emesis followed by supportive and symptomatic therapy. For chronic overdosage in the face of severe disease requiring continuous steroid therapy, the dosage of the corticosteroid may be reduced only temporarily, or alternate day treatment may be introduced.
D07AC Corticosteroids, potent (group III)
Mechanism of action
Topical corticosteroids act as anti-inflammatory agents via multiple mechanisms to inhibit late phase allergic reactions including decreasing the density of mast cells, decreasing chemotaxis and activation of eosinophils, decreasing cytokine production by lymphocytes, monocytes, mast cells and eosinophils, and inhibiting the metabolism of arachidonic acid.
Topical corticosteroids have anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, and vasoconstrictive properties.
Topical corticosteroids can be systemically absorbed from intact healthy skin. The extent of percutaneous absorption of topical corticosteroids is determined by many factors, including the vehicle and the integrity of the epidermal barrier. Occlusion, inflammation and/or other disease processes in the skin may also increase percutaneous absorption.
The use of pharmacodynamic endpoints for assessing the systemic exposure of topical corticosteroids is necessary because circulating levels are well below the level of detection.
Once absorbed through the skin, topical corticosteroids are handled through pharmacokinetic pathways similar to systemically administered corticosteroids. They are metabolised, primarily in the liver.
Topical corticosteroids are excreted by the kidneys. In addition, some corticosteroids and their metabolites are also excreted in the bile.
Subcutaneous administration of betamethasone valerate to mice or rats at doses >0.1 mg/kg/day or rabbits at doses >12 micrograms/kg/day during pregnancy produced foetal abnormalities including cleft palate and intrauterine growth retardation.
The effect on fertility of betamethasone valerate has not been evaluated in animals.
No special requirements.