Mild corticosteroid use reduces risk to fetuses

MILD to moderate topical corticosteroids are preferred during pregnancy because more potent ones are associated with fetal growth restriction, according to new European guidelines.

The European Dermatology Forum updated evidence from the most recent Cochrane review on topical corticosteroid use, which suggested those used early in pregnancy were associated with fetal orofacial cleft.

After considering data from a UK general practice database of 35,000 pregnant women, and a Danish prescription drug register of 23,000 pregnant women, the guideline authors found no evidence that topical corticosteroids were associated with orofacial cleft, preterm delivery or fetal death.

They recommended mild or moderate topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone and betamethasone valerate 0.025%, should be used in pregnancy in preference to more potent creams.

The UK study showed using potent products doubled the risk of fetal growth restriction