betamethasone - salicylic acid lotion and ointment
In this drug factsheet:
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
This is a combination medication containing two ingredients: betamethasone and salicylic acid. It is used to treat skin and scalp conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.
Betamethasone belongs to the family of medications known as corticosteroids. It works by reducing itching and inflammation.
Salicylic acid belongs to the family of medications known as keratolytics. It works by breaking down dead skin cells.
Improvement in the skin condition is usually noticed within a week. If you don't see any improvement, contact your doctor.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. 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.
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How should I use this medication?
Lotion: The lotion is used for skin conditions affecting the scalp. Apply a thin film to completely cover the affected areas of the scalp. The lotion is usually used twice daily. In some cases, your doctor may recommend you apply it once daily. Do not wash the affected area for several hours after applying the lotion. Do not let this medication get in your eyes. If contact with an eye occurs, flush the eye with plenty of water and consult your doctor. Do not take this medication by mouth.
Ointment: The ointment is used for skin conditions that do not affect the scalp. Apply the ointment to the affected area of the skin. It should then be massaged gently and thoroughly into the skin. It is usually applied twice daily. In some cases, your doctor may recommend you apply it once daily. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes, and do not take this medication by mouth.
For some cases of psoriasis and certain other conditions, your doctor may advise you to cover the area with an occlusive dressing (a dressing that doesn't breathe) such as plastic wrap for more effective treatment. If your doctor has not suggested this, do not cover the area, as this may cause unwanted effects.
Many things can affect the dose of a 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 ones listed here, 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 of this medication, apply it as soon as you remember it. 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.
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.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each gram contains 0.64 mg of betamethasone dipropionate USP, equivalent to 0.5 mg of betamethasone USP and 20 mg of salicylic acid. Nonmedicinal ingredients: edetate disodium, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, isopropyl alcohol, water, and sodium hydroxide to adjust pH to approximately 5.
Each gram contains 0.64 mg of betamethasone dipropionate USP, equivalent to 0.5 mg of betamethasone USP and 30 mg of salicylic acid. Nonmedicinal ingredients: white petrolatum and mineral oil. Paraben-free.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use this medication if you:
- are allergic to betamethasone, salicylic acid, or any ingredients of the medication
- have a skin infection caused by viruses, including herpes, vaccinia, and varicella (chickenpox)
- have tuberculosis skin lesions
- have untreated infected skin lesions caused by an infection with fungi or bacteria