Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, skin folds or underneath airtight dressings may on rare occasions result in enough corticosteroid being absorbed to have side effects on other parts of the body; for example, by causing a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands.
Betamethasone is also used to stimulate fetal lung maturation (prevention of IRDS), and to decrease the incidence and mortality from intracranial hemorrhage in premature infants. However, because betamethasone 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.
Betamethasone is available in a number of compound forms: betamethasone dipropionate (branded as Diprosone, Diprolene, Celestamine, Procort in Pakistan and others), sodium phosphate (branded as Bentelan in Italy) and valerate (branded as Audavate, Betnovate, Celestone, Fucibet, and others). In the United States and Canada, betamethasone is mixed with clotrimazole and sold as Lotrisone and Lotriderm. It is also available in combination with salicylic acid for using in psoriatic skin conditions. In Mexico it is also sold mixed with both clotrimazole and gentamicin to add an antibacterial agent to the mix.