Effect of betamethasone in combination with antibiotics on gram positive and gram negative bacteria

Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2014 Oct-Dec;27(4):675-82. doi: 10.1177/039463201402700426.


Betamethasone is an anti-inflammatory steroid drug used in cases of anaphylactic and allergic reactions, of Alzheimer and Addison diseases and in soft tissue injuries. It modulates gene expression for anti-inflammatory activity suppressing the immune system response. This latter effect might decrease the effectiveness of immune system response against microbial infections. Corticosteroids, in fact, mask some symptoms of infection and during their use superimposed infections may occur. Thus, the use of glucocorticoids in patients with sepsis remains extremely controversial. In this study we analyzed the in vitro effect of a commercial formulation of betamethasone (Bentelan) on several Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria of clinical relevance. It was found to be an inhibitor of the growth of most of the strains examined. Also the effect of betamethasone in combination with some classes of antibiotics was evaluated. Antibiotic-steroid combination therapy is, in such cases, superior to antibiotic-alone treatment to impair bacterial growths. Such effect was essentially not at all observable on Staphylococcus aureus or Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (CoNS).

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Betamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / growth & development
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / growth & development
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Betamethasone