THE Inappropriate US and Misuse of BETNOVATE in our Somali Women WOMEN – Dr. Warsame Mohamed Muse

Asala macalaykum to all my dear brother and sisters, I would like to share an interesting topic with you. This is the MISS USE OF A DRUG CALLED BETNOVATE. As a reader I believe this article will elevate your knowledge towards this issue. Therefore it will provide good grounds about this drug and its potential harms associated with it. My aim of this article is to educate the users of this drug so they can use it wisely within its licensed indication but not for beauty means. Educating people is one of the most important strategies of fighting with the miss use of drugs such as BETNOVATE issue.
warsame 029The active ingredient in Betnovate formulation is called Betamethasone which is a member of the drug class called corticosteroid and it is known by the name of BEEDNOFAAD in Somaliland. This drug or medicine is extensively used in back home Somaliland for beauty means. This drug provides the desired effect by thinning the outer most layer of the skin so that dark coloured Somali women can develop light skin and become attractive to men. Unfortunately this is the one of the harms and unwanted effects associated with the use of this drug, but lack of knowledge and social factors made this as the desired effect and it worked for them. In western countries or developed countries the long term use of this drug is not totally allowed or the use of this drug is restricted to maximum one month. As a reader you can logically tell why the use of this drug was restricted. The potential hazards associated with the long term and high quantity use of this drug is higher than the health benefit gained. Thus it is not recommended to use it more than one month but unfortunately our women use as long and as much as they can to get the beauty benefit gained using this drug. Lack of knowledge made them not to balance the risk and benefit associated with the drug. Though I am not here discussing the social factors associated with the use of this drug but just the general science about this drug and the benefits and harms associated with.
I would like to give some basic knowledge about this drug’s profile. This drug belongs to a group of drugs called GLUCOCOSTEROIDS. These are steroid small lipophilic molecules and they are used to suppress the immune system for prevention of inflammation. These drugs are small molecules that can penetrate the skin and the cell membranes where they form complex with steroid receptor. They suppress gene expression responsible about inflammations and this is how they work to suppress the immune system and therefore they are used for anti-inflammatory purposes. Bethamethasone (BETNOVATE) is member of this group and it is not designed to improve beauty but it is used for ATOPIC ECZEMA (inflammation of the skin) where it reduces inflammation or it is used for BURNS to relief pain caused by inflammation. Besides the indication for use of this drug one of the serious side effects associated with this drug is the THINNING OF THE SKIN. This side effect is one of the manifestations of the long term and high quantity use of this drug. THINNING OF THESKIN means that the thickness of the skin layer was diminished and the skin was broken which makes bacteria and other pathogenic organism get easy into the body tissues and cells can easily infected. In addition to the use of large quantity of this drug for longer period causes severe immune suppression. Therefore individual will become susceptible to infection or it can exacerbate existing infection and can develop sepsis which is lethal to immune-compromised patients and its contraindicated patients with active infection such as TB which more prevalent in Somali community. THINNING OF THE SKIN is what made this drug popular amongst the Somali women and it’s what provides their desired beauty effect. When it is not used appropriately for its indication the harm outweigh the benefit of getting beauty if developing of light skin is known as beauty in our society. ATTENTION ABOUT SUPPRESSING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM OR BECOMING SUSCEPTIBLE TO ALL INFECTION WHICH CAN BE LETHAL.

Best Regards
Bilaahi Tawfiiq

Any question regarding about this article can be sent to

Warsame Mohamed Muse
MPharm (Master of Pharmacy)
Keele University Staffordshire