DesOwen and Pregnancy

When given to pregnant animals, steroids like DesOwen (desonide) increased the risk for birth defects and other problems. However, short-term, cautious use in humans is not expected to cause serious problems. If you are pregnant and using this medicine, it is typically recommended to use only the smallest amount for the shortest possible time.

Can Pregnant Women Use DesOwen?

DesOwen® (desonide) is a prescription topical steroid approved for treating itching and inflammation due to a wide variety of skin conditions. Based on information currently available, it is unclear if the drug is safe for use during pregnancy. As with most medications, it should be used only if necessary, at the lowest effective dose, and for the shortest possible time during pregnancy.
 

What Is Pregnancy Category C?

DesOwen is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but have caused fetal harm in animal studies.
 
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
 
Animal studies have shown that steroids, including DesOwen, may increase the risk for birth defects (such as cleft palate) and may cause other problems (such as poor fetal growth) or decreased survival. Similar problems might also occur in humans, although the risk is probably smaller for topical steroids that are applied to the skin (like DesOwen).
 
While short-term use (a few days) of the medication applied to a small area of the body is probably not likely to cause problems, extended use or use over a large area of the body should probably be avoided during pregnancy.
 
Pregnancy and Pain

DesOwen Drug Information

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