Taking Betnesol Injection in Pregnancy: Uses & Side Effects

Taking Betnesol Injection in Pregnancy: Uses & Side Effects

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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Preterm labour can lead to problems with the heart, lungs, and brain in a newborn. But nowadays, there are certain drugs available that can help delay labour in order to ensure the proper growth of the organs. Many doctors consider administering Betnesol injections to a pregnant woman in order to hasten the lung maturity of the baby. However, a Betnesol injection is administered only if its benefits outweigh the risk. If you are pregnant, you should know if taking Betnesol injections in pregnancy is safe or not. In this article, we have covered information on Betnesol injection for you that can help you, in case you need to take it.

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, reducing the inflammation, 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.

Note: It should not be taken without consulting a doctor.

Betamethasone Injections During Pregnancy

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 3235 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 surfactant levels increase, which will thus help mature the lungs of the baby. This injection is usually given 24 hours prior to 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.

3. Newborn Baby’s Lung Development

In certain cases, premature babies might have underdeveloped lungs. So, Betnesol is given to develop their lungs, and the injection is also administered to reduce the risk of intracranial haemorrhaging.

Consult Your Doctor Before Opting for Betnesol

Advantages of Betnesol Injection in Pregnancy

There are various advantages of taking Betnesol injections during pregnancy. Some of these advantages are:

1. Helps Control Inflammation

Betnesol injection can help control inflammation, which reduces pain and discomfort associated with inflammatory conditions.

2. Reduces Risk of Miscarriage and Complications

It can help reduce the risk of miscarriage and complications associated with pregnancy, like preeclampsia.

3. Lowers Risk of Infections

Betnesol injection reduces the risk of infection and complications associated with infection.

4. Decreases Risk of Birth Defects

Betnesol injection can help reduce the risk of congenital anomalies, which can help reduce the risk of birth defects.


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.

Betnesol can be given as saline drips

What Is the Alternative of Betnesol Injection in Pregnancy?

Betnesol injection is generally not recommended for pregnant women. Therefore, you must be aware of the alternative options you can go for. Here are some alternatives treatments to Betnesol injection in pregnancy.


You must be aware that there can be certain complications because of this injection. Betnesol injection in pregnancy side effects includes the following:

  • 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, and 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.
  • The injection can result in a rise in blood sugar level immediately after taking it and may cause problems for a diabetic mother, which will require her to take her dosage of anti-diabetic medicines.

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.

Precautions to Take When Using Betnesol Injection While Pregnant

Here are some precautions to take when using Betnesol injection during pregnancy:

  • Betnesol injection should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor or healthcare professional.
  • Make sure to follow the instructions of the healthcare professional and the instructions on the medication label.
  • The injection should not be taken if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medication.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any other medical conditions or if you are taking any other medications before going ahead with the injection.


1. Does Every Pregnant Woman Need Betnesol Injection?

No, only some pregnant women are advised to take Betnesol injections to promote lung maturity of the baby and reduce problems for the baby if it is born prematurely.

2. Is Betnesol 12mg Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes, it’s safe, as it helps in fetal lung maturity and prevents preterm babies from intraventricular haemorrhage and necrotising enterocolitis.

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.


1. Antenatal Corticosteroid Therapy for Fetal Maturation; acog.org; https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2017/08/antenatal-corticosteroid-therapy-for-fetal-maturation

2. What are the benefits and risks of giving corticosteroids to pregnant women at risk of premature birth?; cochrane.org; https://www.cochrane.org/CD004454/PREG_what-are-benefits-and-risks-giving-corticosteroids-pregnant-women-risk-premature-birth; December 2020

3. Betamethasone; hiehelpcenter.org; https://hiehelpcenter.org/medical/prevention/betamethasone/

4. Betamethasone Dosing Interval – 12 or 24 Hours?; clinicaltrials.gov; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00453141; March 2007

5. Komal Gaurcorresponding, Barna Ganguly; Effect of Single Dose Betamethasone Administration in Pregnancy on Maternal and Newborn Parameters; National Library of Medicine; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5483699/; May 2017

Also Read:

HCG Injection during Pregnancy
Anti-D Injection While Pregnant
Tetanus Toxoid (TT) Injection in Pregnancy
Safe and Unsafe Vaccines for Pregnant Women

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