Betnovate Cream & Ointment

  • Reduces redness, itchind and inflammation of the skin
  • Available as a Cream or Ointment
  • Used to treat Eczema, Psoriasis and Dermatitis
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Disclaimer: The prices displayed should only be used as a reference of our prices for this medicine. If you are approved for treatment, our prescribers will decide on a suitable treatment for you to jointly consider.

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What is Betnovate Cream and Ointment?

Betnovate is a topical corticosteroid treatment and contains the active ingredient Betamethasone Valerate. It works to reduce the redness, itching and irritation that is associated with various skin conditions, including eczema and dermatitis.

Betnovate comes as either a cream or ointment, depending on your skin problem. It is also available as a scalp applicaton.  

Betnovate is usually prescribed when other over the counter options or more mild prescription options such as Hydrocortisone creams have been used but failed to relieve symptoms.

What is Betnovate used to treat?

Betnovate is used in the treatment of a number of skin conditions including eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

It contains the active ingredient betamethasone valerate, which belongs to a group of medicines called corticosteroids. Betnovate works by reducing the redness and itchiness that comes with these skin problems.

It is suitable for both adults and children over one year of age, but is only available on prescription.

How does Betnovate work?

Skin inflammation occurs as a result of the body releasing inflammatory chemicals; this is a response to an allergen or irritation. When these chemicals are released, the blood vessels widen and cause the skin to become painful, itchy, swollen and red.

Corticosteroids like betamethasone valerate work to inhibit your body's inflammatory response by stopping these cells from releasing large quantities of these chemicals. This reduces inflammation, which also helps to alleviate symptoms like redness, itching and irritation.

What is the difference between ointment and cream?

Both the cream and the ointment work in the same way, but one may be more suitable for you than the other.

Ointments are generally more suited to treating very dry skin because they are greasier than creams. Drier skin can be harder to penetrate, so if your skin is very dry, ointment will normally be prescribed because it tends to stay on the skin and lock in moisture longer than cream.

On the other hand, if your skin is weeping or moist, the cream will probably be a better choice.

The active ingredient and strength of the medicine is exactly the same in both the cream and ointment.

How to use Betnovate

  1. Wash your hands before applying the treatment.
  2. Apply a thin layer of the cream or ointment to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day. Massage the treatment in gently until it has been absorbed.
  3. Wash your hands again after using Betnovate, unless your hands are the treatment area.

How much should I apply?

Betnovate’s dosage is measured by how many fingertips of the medicine you should apply. How much you should use depends on where on the body you are applying it.

For an adult, the general dosage is as follows:

Area of body

Back

Chest / stomach

One arm, not including hand

Both sides of one hand

One leg, not including the foot

One foot

Fingertip units

7

7

3

1

6

2

 

Dosage information for children can be found in the patient information leaflet, which comes with your medication.

You can decrease your dose as your symptoms begin to improve.

Do not use this medication for longer than 10 days. If your symptoms have not improved after 7 days of using Betnovate, talk to your doctor.

If you are applying the treatment to an area that has been covered with an airtight dressing, clean the skin before applying the treatment. Apply a new dressing after using Betnovate.

Do not apply Betnovate to your face.

Who can use Betnovate cream and ointment?

Betnovate may not be suitable for everyone to use.

This medicine is not suitable for children under one year of age.

Do not use Betnovate:

  • If you are allergic to betamethasone valerate or any of the other ingredients contained in this medicine (please refer to the Ingredients tab for full details)
  • As a treatment for severe flushing of skin around your nose
  • As a treatment for acne
  • On your face
  • As a treatment for itchy skin that is not inflamed
  • As a treatment for infected skin (unless you are treating it with an anti-infective medicine at the same time)
  • As a treatment for perioral dermatitis

Betnovate is a steroid medicine, so it should not be used as a treatment for spots or acne scars. It may make acne worse in some cases.

Do not use Betnovate cream/ointment on broken or infected skin.

Please speak to your doctor for guidance if you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding.

Read the patient information leaflet for comprehensive warnings and precautions.

Can you buy Betnovate over the counter?

No, you cannot buy Betnovate cream or ointment over the counter. You need a prescription for this medication.

Can you buy Betnovate online in the UK?

Betnovate is a prescription-only medicine (POM), but you can buy it from our online pharmacy after completing an online consultation form. One of our doctors or pharmacists will review the answers you provide in this confidential consultation to ensure Betnovate is suitable for you to use.

You will receive your medicine the next day if you place your order by 2pm.

For your own safety, do not order medicine online unless it is from a UK pharmacy regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council, like Medicine Direct.

Betnovate alternatives

Medicine Direct stocks a number of other corticosteroid medicines to aid in the treatment of eczema, dermatitis and other skin problems. The likes of Fucibet and generic betamethasone valerate cream can also be ordered from our pharmacy after an online consultation.

Betamethasone is also available as a combined treatment with other medicines, such as Betamethasone with Neomycin Cream.

Other corticosteroid medicines such as Clobetasone are available, too. Generic and branded versions of Clobetasone (such as Eumovate) can be bought without a prescription. Eumovate is also available as either a cream or an ointment.

Dosage and Directions

Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Betnovate Cream.

What if I use too much?

Using too much of this treatment could make you ill. Speak to your doctor or go to A&E as soon as possible if you use too much or accidentally swallow Betnovate cream.

What if I forget to use it?

If you forget to use this product, just apply it as soon you remember, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose.

If it is nearly time for your next scheduled dose, just skip the dose you missed and continue to use the product as normal.

How long does Betnovate take to work?


The majority of people who use Betnovate find that it improves their problem within 7 to 10 days.

How long can I use Betnovate for?


Talk to your doctor if your skin problem has not got any better after using it for 7 days.

Can I apply Betnovate to my face?


Do not apply Betnovate to your face unless your doctor tells you to. Using Betnovate on your face should be limited to 5 days.

Can using Betnovate make my eczema worse?


Betnovate will not cure your eczema, it will reduce the itching and redness caused by the problem. Stop using it and speak to your doctor if you find that your eczema is getting worse during treatment.

Can Betnovate cause hair loss?


Hair loss is a very rare side effect, occurring in around 1 in 10,000 people who use Betnovate. Betnovate may also rarely cause an increase or reduction in hair growth. Tell your doctor straight away if any of these happen to you.

Can you use Betnovate Cream/Ointment on the scalp?


Betnovate is available as a scalp application, which you should use if you are suffering from a skin problem on your scalp.

Can I use Betnovate for a long time?


You should not use Betnovate for longer than your doctor instructs you to use it for. There is a risk of side effects if you apply it excessively.

Can I drink alcohol while I’m using it?


Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol while using Betnovate.

Is Betnovate the same as hydrocortisone?


Both of these medicines are corticosteroids, but Betnovate is considerably more potent than hydrocortisone. They are not the same thing.

Can children use Betnovate?


Betnovate should only be used by children if a doctor has prescribed it for them. Children should not use it for more than 5 days.

Side Effects

Stop using Betnovate cream and seek medical attention immediately if:

  • Your skin condition gets worse, you get a skin rash or the skin becomes worse during treatment
  • You have psoriasis and get raised bumps that have pus under the skin

If you suffer any of the below, you may be having a serious allergic reaction and require immediate hospital treatment.

Dial 999 or go to A&E if:

  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
  • You have a skin rash that has red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You have swelling in your face, throat, mouth, lips or tongue
  • You have tightness in your throat or chest
  • You are wheezing

Always read the patient information leaflet for comprehensive information on side effects.

If you are concerned about side effects, please speak to your doctor.

Warnings and drug interactions

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other form of medicine, especially if you are using ritonavir and itraconazole medications as some medicines interact with Betnovate cream.

This medicine must not be used on children for longer than 5 days.

Speak to your doctor before using this medicine if:

  • You have a chronic leg ulcer
  • You need to apply this cream over a large area of skin
  • You are applying the cream under an airtight dressing, including a child's nappy
  • You have psoriasis
  • You are using this medicine on your face
  • You are applying it to broken skin or skin folds
  • You are pregnant, may be pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • You have a history of allergic reactions to steroid medications

Always read the patient information leaflet for comprehensive warnings and precautions. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for further guidance.

Betnovate Cream Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Betamethasone valerate

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Medically reviewed byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 09/06/2021

This content has been written by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan and has been medically reviewed by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091

Pharmacist

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