Antenatal Corticosteroids for Fetal Lung Development
Why It Is Used
Betamethasone and dexamethasone are corticosteroids, also called glucocorticoids, that are given before birth (antenatally) to speed up a preterm fetus's lung development. Either is used when a mother is in preterm labor and birth may occur in 24 to 48 hours. This helps prevent Reference respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) Opens New Window and related complications following premature birth.
Many infants born at 33 to 34 weeks' gestation have sufficient lung maturity to breathe on their own. But considering the low-risk, high-benefit nature of this treatment, corticosteroids are typically used up to 34 weeks of pregnancy.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: January 10, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine