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Topical corticosteroid use during pregnancy

Fatoumah Alabdulrazzaq, MD and Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC, FACMT

June 2012



Some of my pregnant patients have been prescribed various potencies of topical corticosteroids. Do these carry the same fetal risks as systemic corticosteroids?


Pregnant women can be reassured that there is no apparent increased risk of adverse fetal effects when using topical corticosteroids during pregnancy, although some data do suggest fetal growth restriction with more potent topical corticosteroids. Overall, women should be prescribed the lowest potency required whenever possible.


On a prescrit à certaines de mes patientes enceintes des corticostéroïdes topiques à diverses concentrations. Comportent-ils les mêmes risques pour le fœtus que les corticostéroïdes systémiques?


On peut rassurer les femmes enceintes qu'il n'y a pas de risque accru apparent d'effets indésirables sur le fœtus quand elles utilisent des corticostéroïdes topiques durant la grossesse, quoique certaines données fassent valoir une restriction de la croissance fœtale lorsque les corticostéroïdes topiques sont plus puissants. En règle générale, on devrait, dans la mesure du possible, prescrire aux femmes la concentration la plus faible nécessaire.

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