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Topical steroids safe in pregnancy but high doses risk low birth weight

Topical steroids used during pregnancy are unlikely to be associated with adverse foetal and maternal outcomes although potent or very potent doses during the entire pregnancy may increase the risk for low birth weight, according to a new study in JAMA Dermatology.

Researchers analysed data from 2658 women aged 15 to 44 years who had been prescribed a topical steroid at least once during their pregnancy and compared them 7246 pregnant women who had not.

They found no significant overall association between corticosteroid use and orofacial cleft, preterm delivery, foetal death, low Apgar score and mode of delivery.

But they found potent or very potent corticosteroids, exceeding 300g during the entire pregnancy, increased the risk for low birth weight by over seven-fold (adjusted RR 7.74).


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