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Preterm labour can lead to the problems of the heart, lungs, and brain in a newborn. But nowadays, there are certain drugs available that can help delay labour. Many doctors consider administering Betnesol injections to a new mother. However, a Betnesol injection is administered only if its benefits outweigh the risk. If you are pregnant, you should know whether these injections are safe or not.
What is Betnesol?
Betnesol (betamethasone sodium phosphate) is a corticosteroid used for treating 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 like, regulating salt, balancing the water, regulating stress levels, and ensuring the proper functioning of the heart. This injection is administered in emergency situations to gain quick control of the symptoms.
Is It Safe to Take Betamethasone Injections During Pregnancy?
A Betnesol injection is given during pregnancy only if there is no alternative treatment available for a prenatal complication. Administering a Betnesol injection to a pregnant woman can pose risks to her baby as it is known to cross the placenta and affect the unborn child. It is best avoided in any form (injections or topical creams) unless recommended by a doctor. It is best to consult a gynaecologist about the risks involved and ask about alternatives.
Caution: It should not be taken without consulting a doctor.
When Is Betnesol Used?
Betnesol or betamethasone injection is prescribed if the following complications arise during pregnancy.
1. Preterm Labour
Preterm labour is a common complication during pregnancy. If the baby is born before 32-35 weeks of pregnancy, his lungs will not be completely developed, and hence won’t function properly. When the doctor suspects that a pregnant woman will go into premature labour, she will administer these injections to ensure that the baby’s lungs inflate easily without sticking together. It is usually given 24 hours before the expected preterm labour.
2. Fetal Fibronectin Test (FFT)
Fetal fibronectin is a protein that helps amniotic sac stick to the lining of the uterus. The amniotic sac cushions the baby in the uterus. But when it disrupts, the fetal fibronectin may be released into secretions near the cervix. This can obstruct the growth of the baby and lead to a miscarriage or preterm labour. During pregnancy, your doctor may suggest a fetal fibronectin test between 22 and 34 weeks, and take a swab of your secretions to check for the presence of fibronectin. If the test is positive, you might go into premature labour. The test is done before administering Betnesol. Betnesol will most likely be given to you if you are expecting twins or multiple babies.
The dosage is determined after checking the medical history of a pregnant woman. Your doctor can take a call 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 can be administered in the following ways:
It is injected directly into the veins or muscles to produce an effect throughout the body. This is done through drips. The dosage and duration will depend on the case and complications.
It can be applied topically on 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 for 2-3 weeks. But it should not be stopped abruptly. It should be tapered slowly to reduce the intensity of any withdrawal symptoms.
Mentioned below are some side effects that you may notice during pregnancy if you are administered Betnesol injections.
Betnesol is a corticosteroid, which is known to reduce the body’s natural immunity and inflammatory responses. Hence, if you are taking Betnesol, you might be more susceptible to infections.
Giving high doses of Betnesol can lead to mood swings and behavioural changes. If you have been administered Betnesol injection, you might become more irritable, depressed, confused. You may even have trouble falling asleep.
It might affect your baby’s growth and development. It can lead to a delay in your baby’s growth and affect his heart rate and movements.
If Betnesol is given in high doses, it may pass on to the baby while you breastfeed him and affect his adrenal gland-producing steroid hormones.
In addition to injections, it can enter your body through other mediums too. If you use certain skin creams containing Betnesol (even in small quantity), it may be absorbed by your skin and may affect the baby. Therefore, it is suggested that you consult a doctor before using any steroid creams.
After reading this, we hope you have a fair idea about Betnesol injections and will avoid taking them at all cost during pregnancy and even after delivery. Talk to your gynaecologist to understand the severity of the condition and the risks involved. Ask about the alternative treatments which are safe.
Also Read: Potential Complications of Twin Pregnancy