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Antenatal steroids are steroids given before birth. Betamethasone and dexamethasone are used with the intention to help the lungs of a premature fetus develop before the fetus comes out.[1] They are given when the fetus is expected to be delivered within 24 to 48 hours. Betamethasone is preferred over dexamethasone because it is thought to have better prophylaxis of brain softening of premature fetus. Antenatal steroids are currently used up to 36 weeks in some parts of the world obstetric practice.

It may also reduce risk of intraventricular hemorrhage.[2]




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