Skin Home > Understanding HPA Suppression With Betamethasone Valerate Foam and Common Reactions
Using steroids for a long time can cause a different set of side effects, sometimes known as adrenal suppression, HPA suppression, or Cushing's syndrome. These side effects are most likely to be seen in people who use betamethasone valerate foam over a large area of the body for a long time, and might include:
- Suppression of the immune system, perhaps leading to infections or other problems
- Weight gain
- Bulging eyes
- Fluid retention
- Loss of muscle
- Fat deposits on the face and back, causing a round face and a fatty hump on the back of the neck
- Stunted growth (in children).
Betamethasone valerate foam is a medium-potency steroid and is less likely to cause these problems, compared to highly potent steroids. Nonetheless, adrenal suppression is still possible, especially with long-term use.
Betamethasone valerate foam has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, this product was compared to a placebo foam (a similar product with no active ingredients), as well as a betamethasone lotion and a placebo lotion. As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the placebo or other products.
In clinical trials, the most common betamethasone valerate foam side effects included:
- Burning, itching, or stinging -- in up to 44 percent of people
- Unusual sensations, such as numbness or tingling -- up to 2 percent
- Acne -- up to 2 percent
- Hair loss -- up to 2 percent
- Conjunctivitis ("pink eye") -- up to 2 percent.
In general, adverse reactions are more common when a dressing, such as a bandage, is used to cover the medication. Do not use a dressing unless your healthcare provider specifically recommends that you do so.