Corticosteroids in pregnant women

Pregnant women should be given mild to moderate topical corticosteroids when such treatment is necessary, an international team of researchers has concluded

Ching-Chi Chi from Chanh Gung University College of Medicine in Chiayi, Taiwan, and colleagues from seven European countries looked at studies on the use of topical corticosteroids in pregnancy.

The researchers said evidence suggested there was no association between the use of topical corticosteroids during pregnancy and oral cleft, preterm delivery and fetal death.

But they concluded that because of the risk of fetal growth restriction associated with the use of potent corticosteroids, the use of mild to moderate agents should be preferred in this group.

The researchers commented: 'The available evidence does suggest that use of potent/very potent topical corticosteroids during pregnancy may be associated with placental insufficiency and low birth weight.' They considered evidence from a range of studies, including a trial involving information on 83,133 UK women from the General Practice Research Database.
Chi CC, Kirtschig G, Aberer W. Br J Dermatol 2011; 165: 943-52


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