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noun, plural: betamethasones

A synthetic glucocorticoid used as a steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, with a chemical formula, C22H29FO5, and structurally similar to dexamethasone but with a 16β-methyl group


Betamethasone is one of the examples of a glucocorticoid. A glucocorticoid is a substance involved in the carbohydrate metabolism. For instance, it promotes gluconeogenesis, i.e. the metabolic process in which glucose is formed from non-carbohydrate precursors. It may be produced naturally (mainly, by the adrenal cortex) or synthetically. It exerts action to the cell by binding to the glucocorticoid receptor.

Betamethasone is a glucocorticoid with a chemical formula of C22H29FO5. It is structurally similar to dexamethasone. Betamethasone has a 16β-methyl group.

Unlike other glucocorticoids, betamethasone is produced synthetically. Its pharmacological roles are as a steroidal anti-inflammatory agent and as an anti-asthmatic agent.

Betamethasone is used as a medication for the following conditions: rheumatic disorders, ]]dermatitis]], psoriasis, asthma, angioedema, allergies, certain cancers such as leukemia, Chron's disease. Its lack of mineralocorticoid properties makes betamethasone particularly suitable for treating cerebral oedema and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. It is also given to pregnant women with increased risk to preterm labor as it accelerates fetal lung maturity.

Betamethasone can be given by mouth, parenterally, by local injection, by inhalation, or topically. Possible side effects are depression, adrenal suppression, hypertension, petechiale, hypertrichosis, ecchymoses.

Betamethasone, similar to other glucocorticoids, can cross cell membranes and then bind to specific receptors inside the cell to stimulate synthesis of certain enzymes, such as those needed to control inflammatory response.

Chemical formula:

  • C22H29FO5

See also: