Drug Information

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Brand Name
Common Name
fusidic acid-betamethasone
How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

This combination product contains 2 medications: fusidic acid and betamethasone. It is used to treat flare ups of eczema that are complicated by an infection with a particular bacteria (Staph. Aureus).

Fusidic acid belongs to the family of medications known as topical (applied to the skin) antibiotics. It works by preventing the bacteria from reproducing, allowing the body's defenses to get rid of the existing bacteria.

Betamethasone belongs to the family of medications known as corticosteroids. It works to reduce itching and inflammation of the infected area.

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.

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 no longer than 2 weeks.

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. Discard any medication that remains 3 months after opening the container.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each g of white, highly viscous, oil-in-water emulsion cream contains 2% fusidic acid and 0.1% betamethasone. Nonmedicinal ingredients: all-rac-α-tocopherol, cetostearyl alcohol, citric acid monohydrate, hypromellose, liquid paraffin, methyl parahydroxybenzoate, potassium sorbate, propyl parahydroxybenzoate, purified water, steareth-21 and white soft paraffin.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use fusidic acid-betamethasone if you:

  • are allergic to betamethasone, fusidic acid, or any ingredients of this medication
  • are allergic to other corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone, clobetasol)
  • have untreated infections of the skin caused by fungi or bacteria
  • have an internal fungal infection
  • have tuberculosis skin lesions or skin infections related to syphilis
  • have rosacea
  • have irritated skin around the mouth (perioral dermatitis)
  • have skin reactions after receiving vaccinations
  • have a viral disease such as herpes simplex, varicella (chickenpox), or vaccinia
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

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:

  • reddish purple lines on the skin
  • symptoms of cataracts (e.g., clouded, blurred or dim vision)
  • symptoms of glaucoma (e.g., blurred vision, seeing halos of bright colours around lights, red eyes, increased pressure in your eyes, eye pain or discomfort)
  • symptoms of high levels of corticosteroids in the blood stream (e.g., fatigue, increased thirst and urination, irritability, muscle weakness)
  • thinning of the skin or easy bruising
  • worsening of eczema (e.g., increased itching, redness, swelling)

Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:

  • signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)

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.

Absorption: Applying this medication over large areas of damaged skin, in skin folds, or under dressings that do not breathe could promote the absorption of betamethasone into the bloodstream. This could produce unwanted effects similar to those seen after taking oral (by mouth) corticosteroid medications for long periods of time. If you notice symptoms of using steroid medications for long periods of time, such as weakness, increased urination, increased thirst, fatigue, or weight loss, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Bacteria Overgrowth: Applying antibiotic creams to the skin incorrectly or too frequently can cause overgrowth of organisms that are not killed by the antibiotic. If the infection does not improve within a few days or it seems to get worse at any time, contact your doctor.

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

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, contact your doctor.

Vision Changes: Corticosteroids that are applied to the skin or inhaled are known to cause or worsen cataracts and glaucoma. Rarely, corticosteroids that are applied to the skin have also been associated with vision changes. If you experience blurred vision or other changes to your eyesight, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

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 6 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 fusidic acid-betamethasone and any of the following:

  • "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
  • ceritinib
  • clarithromycin
  • deferasirox
  • HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., darunavir, indinavir, lopinavir)
  • other topical medications containing corticosteroids

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.

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