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Pre-term labour is one of the most significant risks in pregnancy, and it is managed by administering Betnesol injections. It should be administered only if the benefits outweigh the risk. An experienced gynaecologist should be well informed about the possible complications and be proactive to manage it efficiently.
What Is Betnesol?
Betnesol (betamethasone sodium phosphate) is a corticosteroid used in treating conditions, which are related to the hypothalamus such as hormonal imbalance, inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases. Insufficiency of corticosteroids, in general, has a significant impact on our body. They have many vital functions in the body namely, regulating salt, water balance, regulating stress levels and regulating heart functions. This injection is administered in emergency situations to gain quick control of the symptoms.
Is It Safe To Take Betamethasone Injection During Pregnancy?
A Betnesol injection is given during pregnancy only if there is no alternative treatment for a prenatal complication. It is a high-risk treatment as it is known to cross the placenta and may affect the unborn child. It is best if avoided in any form (injections or topical creams) unless the case history suggests otherwise. Please talk to your gynaecologist about the risks involved and inquire about alternatives.
Caution: It should not be taken without consultation with a doctor.
When Is Betnesol Used?
Betnesol or betamethasone injection is prescribed if the following complications occur during pregnancy;
- Preterm Labour: Preterm labour is one of the most commonly occurring complications for pregnant women. When the baby is born before 32-35 weeks of pregnancy, the lungs are not fully formed and functional. In such cases, these injections are given so that the lungs will be able to inflate easily without sticking together. It is usually given 24 hours before the probable preterm labour.
- Newborn Baby’s Lung Development: In some cases, the babies who are born preterm have underdeveloped lungs; betnesol is given to developing their lungs. It is also administered to reduce the risk of intracranial haemorrhaging.
- FFT (Foetal Fibronection Test): This is a condition wherein the fibroids obstruct the growth of the baby or may even cause miscarriage or preterm labour. The test is done before administering betnesol to the mother to be. It is most likely given to you if you are about to conceive twins or multiple babies.
This is entirely the doctor’s discretion. There is no definitive dosage prescribed, but your doctor will take a call only after understanding your case history. If your doctor foresees the probability of some complications, he may advise injections. Therefore, it is best to discuss the pros and cons of this treatment with your doctor.
How Is Betnesol Given?
Betnesol is administered in the following two ways:
- It is injected directly into your veins or muscle to produce an effect throughout the body. This is done through drips. The dosage and duration are dependent on the case and complication.
- It can be applied topically to the affected area to reduce inflammation. In some cases, it is directly injected into the inflamed tissue.
The medication is never given on a long-term basis. It may be prescribed for a few days or maybe 2-3 weeks. It should not be stopped abruptly rather, should be tapered slowly to reduce the intensity of any withdrawal symptoms.
Following are some betnesol injection during pregnancy side effects:
- Corticosteroids are known to reduce the body’s natural immunity and inflammatory responses. Hence, if you are taking betnesol, you might be more susceptible to infections.
- High doses of this can cause mood and behavioural changes; you might become more irritable, depressed, confused, have sleep problems and delusions.
- It might affect your baby’s growth causing growth delays or reduce their heart rate and movements.
- High doses given to you might pass on to the baby while breastfeeding and affect the baby’s own adrenal gland-producing steroid hormones.
In addition to injections, it can enter your body through other mediums too. For example, during pregnancy, you must be careful while using skin creams. Some skin creams must be avoided as they might contain small quantities of betnesol which may be absorbed by the skin and may affect the baby. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor before using any steroid containing creams.
It is definite that betnesol is to be avoided during pregnancy. It is always better to find means to avoid taking this drug. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you talk to your gynaecologist and understand the severity of the condition, the risk involved and whether there are any alternative solutions to solve the problem.
Also Read: Potential Complications of Twin Pregnancy