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Pregnant. Baby growth and movement normal. Is it safe to take betnesol 12 mg injection?

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I had one IUD at 7th month due to pre-eclampsia and another miscarriage at 1 month due to blighted ovum. This is third time and I am on Ecosprin 75 and Lonopin (Enoxaparin Sodium) shot daily.With these my pregnancy is normal this time, but with a 4x4 cm uterine fibroid, with no any pre-term labour or any pain. Now I am at 29th week and baby growth & movement is normal as per last USG at 27th week. But my doctor advised Betnesol 12 mg (3x 4 mg) and repeat after 24 hours. . I have already taken 12 mg of Betnesol injection today and am strongly reluctant to repeat after 24 hours as I have severe headache and drowsiness after the first shot. Baby movement is also lesser after that first dose. Additionally, I also come to know from Internet about the severe side affects of this medicine. Please suggest should I stop it completely without repeating same 12 mg after 24 hours????
Posted Sat, 8 Dec 2012 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 1 hour later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing.

Betnesol is betamethasone steroid injection which is given for the lung maturity of the baby in the event preterm delivery is suspected or planned.

The complete dose of this injection is 2 doses of 12 mg each given at an interval of 24-48 hours.
If you do not take the second dose, you would not have any benefits from the first dose also.

So you should be taking the second dose if you want the drug to have its action on the baby.

The side effect which this injection causes in the mother is transient rise in blood sugar levels. So if your blood sugar levels have been normal throughout you need not worry.
There are no risks to the baby due to this dose of betnesol.
It infact prevents the risk of neonatal brain hemorrhage and respiratory distress syndrome.

The dose and the duration for which betnesol is given for preterm labor is not associated with serious side effects seen with steroid use.

Also in preterm labor prophylaxis, it is recommended to be used only one time (which comprises both the doses).

Repeated administration later in pregnancy is not required and not recommended. So once you have taken these two doses then you need not take any further dose even if you go into premature labor.

The side effects you have read on the internet is when mother has been on steroid injections on a continuous basis in pregnancy.

Coming to your other medications like ecospirin and lonopin, they are generally advised in those with history of pre eclampsia and pregnancy loss. They are usually stopped at 34 weeks. Their use has shown good outcome of pregnancy in terms of live birth at term and baby weight.

The fibroid you have is of significant size which might have caused the abortion you had. It can also lead to preterm labor.
In view of these, you doctor gave you betnesol prophylactically.

Keep a good record of your baby movements.
You can remain in the hospital for a day care after your second dose of betnesol if you are getting anxious.
The doctor can monitor your baby's heart rate and movements to ensure everything is going well.
Also immediately after dose you should keep lying down for an hour and count your baby movements in that one hour.

Wishing You All the Best.

Take care.

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