How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This combination product contains two medications: betamethasone and clotrimazole. It is used to treat itchy, inflamed skin rashes caused by certain types of fungus (e.g., athlete's foot, jock itch, ringworm). Betamethasone belongs to the group of medications called corticosteroids and it works by decreasing inflammation. Clotrimazole belongs to the group of medications called antifungals and it works by killing certain types of fungus.

Once treatment is started, itching and redness are usually relieved within 3 to 5 days. If relief does not occur after 1 week of use for jock itch or ringworm, contact your doctor. If relief does not occur after 2 weeks of use for athlete's foot, contact your doctor.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each g of white to off-white cream contains: clotrimazole USP 10 mg and 0.64 mg betamethasone dipropionate, USP, equivalent to 0.5 mg (0.05%) betamethasone USP, in a hydrophilic emollient cream. Nonmedicinal ingredients: benzyl alcohol, cetostearyl alcohol, mineral oil, phosphoric acid, polyethylene glycol 1000 monocetyl ether, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate, white petrolatum, and sodium hydroxide.

How should I use this medication?

Apply a thin film of cream to completely cover the affected and surrounding skin areas twice daily, in the morning and at night or as directed by your doctor. The cream is usually used for a period of 2 to 4 weeks depending on the condition being treated. Using the cream for more than 4 weeks is not recommended.

This cream should not be covered with bandages or other coverings after application. Do not use this medication in or near the eyes.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the one above, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, apply it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.

Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use betamethasone dipropionate - clotrimazole if you:

  • are allergic to betamethasone, clotrimazole, other corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone, clobetasol), other imidazoles (e.g., miconazole), or to any of the ingredients of this medication
  • have untreated bacterial infections of the skin
  • have untreated tuberculosis of the skin
  • have viral diseases of the skin, including:
    • vaccinia
    • varicella (chickenpox)
    • herpes simplex

What side effects are possible with this medication?

Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.

The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who uses this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people using this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.

Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.

  • blistering, stinging, itching, peeling, redness, swelling, or other signs of skin irritation not present before use of this medication
  • numbness of the hands and feet

Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • hives
  • reddish purple lines on the skin
  • thinning of the skin or easy bruising

Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Inform all health professionals involved in your care that you have been using corticosteroids.

Eyes: Do not use this medication in or around the eyes.

Medical conditions: If you have stasis dermatitis and other skin conditions with reduced blood circulation, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

Thinning of skin: Prolonged use of topical (applied to the skin) corticosteroid products may produce thinning of the skin and tissues under it. If you notice this, call your doctor.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Topical medications that contain corticosteroids should not be used by pregnant woman in large amounts or for prolonged periods of time.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under the age of 12 years. The use of topical corticosteroids such as betamethasone by children should be limited to the least amount that will give good results. Chronic corticosteroid therapy may interfere with growth and physical development of children.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between betamethasone - clotrimazole and any of the following:

  • other topical medications containing corticosteroids
  • topical medications that have irritating effects

If you are using any medications that fit this description, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or illegal drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.