Betnesol Injection is a commonly prescribed corticosteroid. It contains an active ingredient called betamethasone sodium phosphate. Read on to know more about this drug and the effects it can have on your pregnancy.
What is Betnesol used for?
– Betnesol is commonly prescribed to treat eye inflammation.
– It is commonly used to reduce inflammation in any particular area, like bursitis, tennis elbow or inflamed tendons.
– It is prescribed to treat severe allergic reactions that include swelling of the throat, face and tongue.
– It is used to treat severe asthma attacks.
– Betnesol injections are used to compensate for acute adrenal insufficiency where the adrenal glands are incapable of producing enough hormones.
– It is also used in shock management where a severe life-threatening drop in blood pressure happens and deprives your vital organs of oxygen, due to injury, deep-rooted infection or surgery.
How does Betnesol work?
The adrenal glands located on top of our kidneys naturally secrete hormones called aldosterone and cortisol. Corticosteroids are medications that are synthetic derivations of these natural hormones. Betamethasone sodium phosphate, the active ingredient of Betnesol Injection, is a corticosteroid too.
Corticosteroids work on the body to combat stress. They increase the force and rate of our heartbeat, increase body’s energy supply by releasing sugar into the blood, increase blood supply to the vital organs and trigger various other processes.
Betnesol can be administered through a drip to the vein for an effect that lasts through the whole body. It can also be injected directly into muscles too. For controlling inflammation in soft tissues, Betnesol can be injected directly into the inflamed region.
Taking artificial corticosteroids numbs the body’s production of natural corticosteroids, so you become entirely reliant on the external doses to survive. Hence it can be very dangerous if you suddenly stop taking Betnesol or any other steroids without consulting your doctor. Steroids should always be weaned gradually under medical supervision.
– If you have been taking more than 1 mg of Betnesol every day for more than 3 weeks, you should not stop it suddenly.
– If you have been given high doses of Betnesol of more than 6 mg daily for even just a week, you cannot stop it suddenly.
– If you have been in repeated treatments with steroids or on long-term steroid treatment, carry your steroid card with you at all times. It can be lifesaving during an accident. If you switch doctors or choose any new medication, always give your steroid card to your new caregiver. Many medications will interfere with steroids and can have unwanted side effects.
– Even if you stop taking steroids, the effect will persist on for 3 months – so carry your card and mention your meds for that time period.
– Betnesol/ steroids will suppress your body’s natural inflammatory and immune system, increasing the risk of infections. You should avoid close contact with people who have contagious diseases like measles, shingles or chicken pox. These diseases can become life-threatening when you are on long-term steroids.
– Adolescents and children brought under long-term steroid use must have their growth monitored.
– Betnesol injections, especially in high doses, will alter mood and behaviour in early treatment. You might experience irritability, confusion, nightmares, mood changes, depression, difficulty sleeping or even suicidal thoughts. The same can manifest when you withdraw from treatment. Get in touch with your doctor if these symptoms persist for abnormally prolonged periods or if you need help coping.
Betnesol Injections in Pregnancy
When used repeatedly or for long-term use, Betnesol increases the risk of slow growth in the developing foetus. It also affects the baby’s ability to produce its natural steroids, but this may resolve without intervention after birth. Betnesol also temporarily reduces the baby’s movements and heart rate – so it should only be chosen if the total benefits outweigh all possible risks to the mother and the baby.
Betnesol also passes through breast milk. It should only be administered under strict medical supervision and only if the benefits to the feeding mother is greater than all possible risks to the infant. While low doses are significantly harmless in most cases, longer or higher doses will make the baby dependant on steroids for life, crushing its own ability to secrete them.
If you are an expectant mother or are currently on Betnesol Injections and are planning to get pregnant, get in touch with a caregiver that you trust to work out a way to keep you and your little one healthy.