Betamethasone and Fusidic acid cream
What is this medicine?
The combination of BETAMETHASONE and FUSIDIC ACID is used to treat eczema that is infected with bacteria. The betamethasone reduces the inflammation in the skin while the fusidic acid treats the infection.
Betamethasone is a type of medicine called a topical corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are medicines used for reducing inflammation. Skin inflammation in eczema occurs due to the irritation of the skin, and is caused by the release of various substances involved in the immune system. These substances cause blood vessels to widen, resulting in the affected area becoming red, swollen, itchy and painful.
When betamethasone is applied to the skin it works by acting inside the cells to decrease the release of these inflammatory substances. This reduces swelling, redness and itch. Betamethasone is a potent corticosteroid.
Fusidic acid is an antibiotic medicine used to treat infections with bacteria. It works by entering bacterial cells and interfering with the production of proteins that the bacteria need to divide and multiply. It doesn’t directly kill the bacteria, but leaves them unable to increase in numbers. The bacteria eventually die or are destroyed by the immune system. Fusidic acid is included in this preparation to treat the bacterial infection that can sometimes occur in eczema.
What should my health care professional know before I take this medicine?
- This medicine should not be used during pregnancy unless considered essential by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings, or for prolonged periods of time. Consult your doctor for further information.
- This medicine should not be used during breastfeeding unless considered essential by your doctor. If it is prescribed by your doctor it should not be used on large areas of skin, underneath airtight dressings or for prolonged periods of time. If it is applied to the breasts it should be washed off carefully before breastfeeding and then reapplied afterwards.
How should I use this medicine?
- Fucibet cream should be applied thinly to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day, as directed by your doctor.
- If your doctor has advised you to use dressings with this medicine, the skin should be cleansed before applying the cream under a fresh dressing.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after applying this medicine, unless the hands are the area being treated.
- As this medicine also contains an antimicrobial it should not normally be used for longer than two weeks, as longer term use may increase the chances of micro-organisms becoming resistant to the medicine. If the infection does not seem to be clearing up within seven days of using this medicine you should consult your doctor.
- Don’t use this medicine more often or for longer than advised by your doctor.
- You should not dilute this medicine with moisturisers or any other products. If you are using other medicines or moisturisers on the same area of skin it is recommended that you leave at least 30 minutes between applying each product. This is to allow each product time to be absorbed and avoid them mixing on the skin.
- Fucibet cream is for external use on the affected areas of skin only.
- You should never use this medicine as a moisturiser.
- Avoid getting this cream in the eyes, or inside the mouth or nose. Rinse with cold water if accidental contact occurs.
- If corticosteroids are used long-term, on large areas of skin, raw skin, skin folds, or under airtight dressings (including baby’s nappies) they are absorbed into the body more. This increases the risk of local side effects such as skin thinning, and those on other parts of the body, such as a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands. For this reason, continuous, long-term use of this medicine should be avoided wherever possible, particularly in children, on the face and on large areas of skin. You should only use airtight dressings over the affected area if instructed by your doctor.
- Do not use this medicine for longer than instructed by your doctor, or for recurrent infections without consulting your doctor, as this may cause the skin to become over-sensitive or allergic to the medicine.
- Consult your doctor if any infection spreads, or if after seven days of treatment with this medicine there is little or no improvement in your symptoms, as you may need to stop using this medicine or take a course of antibiotics by mouth.
Use with caution in
- Psoriasis. If you have been prescribed this medicine to treat psoriasis you should have regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because although corticosteroids may be useful for psoriasis in the short-term, they can sometimes make psoriasis worse, and may cause the condition to relapse into generalised pustular psoriasis after the treatment is stopped.
What may interact with this medicine?
This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, as with all medicines, it is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already using, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any new medicines while using this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
If you are using other topical medicines or moisturisers on the same area of skin it is recommended that you leave several minutes between applying each product. This is to allow each product time to be absorbed and avoid them mixing on the skin.
If you apply moisturisers shortly before or after applying this medicine these can dilute the corticosteroid and potentially make it less effective. Try to apply your moisturisers at a different time of day, or at least 30 minutes before or after this one.
What should I watch for while taking this medicine?
This medicine should not to be used in
- Bacterial skin infection that is not secondary to the eczema (primary infection, eg impetigo).
- Fungal skin infections, eg athlete’s foot, ringworm, candida skin infections.
- Viral skin infections, such as chickenpox, shingles, cold sores or herpes simplex.
- Tuberculosis affecting the skin.
- Skin rashes caused by syphilis.
- Acne vulgaris.
- Acne rosacea.
- Inflammatory rash around the mouth (perioral dermatitis).
- Itchy skin around the genitals or anus.
- Widespread plaque psoriasis.
- Fucibet lipid cream is not licensed for children under six years old.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Skin irritation, eg redness, rash, itching or burning on application, or allergic inflammation of the skin (contact dermatitis). Stop using this medicine and consult your doctor if you think you have experienced a reaction or your skin condition appears to be getting worse.
- Thinning of the skin.
- Reduced skin pigmentation.
- Stretch marks (striae).
- Groupings of fine blood vessels becoming prominent under the skin (telangiectasia).
- Excessive hair growth (hypertrichosis).
- Inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis).
- Prolonged use of this medicine on extensive areas of skin, broken or raw skin, skin folds or underneath airtight dressings may on very rare occasions result in enough corticosteroid being absorbed to have side effects on other parts of the body, for example a decrease in the production of natural hormones by the adrenal glands, or symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome – see warning section above.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine’s manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.