Psoriasis Home > Temovate and Pregnancy

When steroids like Temovate (clobetasol propionate) were given to pregnant animals, they increased the risk for birth defects, stillbirth, and other problems. Also, because this medicine is a highly potent steroid, it may not be the first choice for women who are pregnant. If you are pregnant and using Temovate, it is typically recommended to use only the smallest amount for the shortest possible time.

Can Pregnant Women Use Temovate?

Temovate® (clobetasol propionate) is a prescription topical steroid approved for treating various 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?

Temovate 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 Temovate, may increase the risk for birth defects and may cause other problems, such as poor fetal growth or even stillbirth. Similar problems might also occur in humans, although the risk is probably smaller for topical steroids that are applied to the skin, like Temovate.
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, if possible. In addition, Temovate is an extremely potent steroid, and it may be more appropriate for pregnant women to try a less potent steroid first.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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