Topical applications of cortisone in pregnancy might be safe, but oral doses of the medicine should only be used under supervision of a medical doctor. Animal and human research involving cortisone during pregnancy shows known risks of premature birth and birth defects, especially when used in the first trimester of pregnancy. Cortisone use during pregnancy might be recommended when the benefits of the drug outweigh risks, and no safer alternative is available.
Women who use cortisone on the skin during pregnancy probably face low risks of adverse effects, but research on topical use of the drug by pregnant women is lacking. It might be prescribed for acne that develops from hormonal changes during pregnancy. The medication also treats other skin problems, such as those caused by allergies.
Oral use of cortisone in pregnancy poses greater risks of reduced birth weight, premature labor, and babies born with cleft palates. Human and animal research using high doses of cortisone found these risks increased during the first three months of pregnancy. Women should tell their doctors if they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this drug.
Cortisone is a steroid medication that blocks production of chemicals in the body causing inflammation. It represents a common drug used to treat arthritis and other disorders that lead to pain from inflammation, such as lupus. Cortisone might also relieve symptoms of colitis and some breathing disorders.
Recognized government drug agencies classify cortisone in pregnancy by its potential to harm an unborn fetus. They identified known risks of birth defects when the drug is used in early pregnancy. In other stages of pregnancy, benefits of using the medication might overrule any potential risks. The same advice usually applies to breastfeeding mothers. It is not known if the drug permeates breast milk, which might affect a child’s growth.
Patients with liver, kidney, or thyroid problems should tell their doctors before using cortisone. It might also cause adverse reactions in people with diabetes, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, and heart problems. Certain vaccinations while taking the drug might become ineffective, such as immunizations for measles, chickenpox, mumps, smallpox, and influenza. Patients who contract some childhood illness while using cortisone might face serious complications.
Common side effects of the medication include increased sweating, trouble sleeping, headache, and dizziness. More serious reactions might inhibit the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Patients who use the drug over a long period of time might see a redistribution of body fat, which might be especially noticeable in the face, midriff, and extremities.