1 steroid treatment enough for pregnant women, study finds

December 19, 2008 2:05:05 PM PST
Pregnant women at risk of giving premature birth should receive a single treatment of steroid injections to speed fetal development, not a series of them. The findings come from Canadian researchers who studied nearly 2,000 at-risk women in 20 countries.

Each woman received an initial steroid shot. Researchers found additional steroid injections every 7 to 14 days provided no further benefit and actually resulted in smaller babies versus test subjects who were given placebos rather than additional steroids.

The study is published in the latest edition of the medical journal The Lancet.