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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Blistering or ulceration of the skin; blistering of the lips, nose, and mouth.
Common

Brief burning or irritation after application; peeling.
Less Common

Severe burning, itching, swelling, increased redness, or any increased discomfort developing at the application site that was not present prior to therapy; dry skin; pus or inflammation at base of hair follicles; change in skin color at site of application; acne.
Betamethasone/Clotrimazole


Drug Class:
Topical antifungal

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Cream

Why Prescribed
To treat fungal infections of the skin.

How It Works
Clotrimazole prevents fungal organisms from manufacturing the vital proteins they require for growth and function. Betamethasone dipropionate is a steroid; it interferes with the formation of natural substances within the body that are directly responsible for the process of inflammation, which produces swelling, redness, and pain. The use of these two effective medications in combination for skin infections appears to hasten recovery sooner than use of clotrimazole alone. This medication is only effective for infections caused by fungal organisms. It will not work for bacterial or viral infections.

Range and Frequency
Adults and children older than 12 years of age: Apply and massage a sufficient amount of cream to the affected site twice daily for 2 to 4 weeks. This combination drug contains a high-potency topical steroid that should not be used in skin creases or with bandages (occlusive dressing) unless closely supervised by your doctor.

Onset of Effect
Clotrimazole begins killing susceptible fungi shortly after contact. The effects may not be noticeable for several days or weeks.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
Drink plenty of fluids.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat and direct light. Keep away from moisture and extremes in temperature.

Missed Dose
Apply it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose or apply an excessively thick film of topical medication to compensate for a missed dose.

Stopping the Drug
Apply as prescribed for the full treatment period, even if the fungal infection appears to be eradicated before the scheduled end of therapy. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to assess when the drug has achieved its desired effect since it suppresses redness and inflammation of the skin before the infection is completely clear; recurrence of fungal infection owing to inadequate length of therapy is a significant risk.

Prolonged Use
Therapy with this medication should not exceed 4 weeks.

Over 60
Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work
No special precautions are advised.

Alcohol
No special precautions are necessary.

Pregnancy
Not recommended during pregnancy.

Breast Feeding
Betamethasone dipropionate/clotrimazole may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for advice.

Infants and Children
Not recommended for use by children under age 12.

Special Concerns
Avoid contact with eyes. Wash hands thoroughly after application. Tell your doctor if your condition has not improved within a few days of starting the medication. As with any other antifungal, betamethasone dipropionate/clotrimazole is useful only against organisms that are vulnerable to its effects. Therefore, it is important to tell your doctor if your condition has not improved--or has worsened--within a few days of starting betamethasone dipropionate/clotrimazole. The particular organism causing your illness may be resistant to this medication.

Overdose Symptoms
No specific ones have been reported.

What to Do
An overdose is unlikely to be life-threatening. However, if someone applies a much larger dose than prescribed or ingests the medication, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
No specific drug interactions have been documented.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Consult your physician if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to any topical medication, or undesirable reactions to any steroid or steroid-containing preparation.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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