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OB Guideline 12: Use of Antenatal Corticosteroids for Fetal Maturation

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OB Guideline 12: Use of Antenatal Corticosteroids for Fetal Maturation

Related to: Communication, Documentation, Nursing, Obstetrics, Teamwork Training

All women between 24 and 34 weeks gestation who are at risk for delivery within seven days, should receive corticosteroids. This includes women with rupture of membranes, unless individual circumstances affect this decision.

Treatment options include:

  • two doses of betamethasone 12 mg IM 24 hours apart, or
  • four doses of dexamethasone 6 mg IM 12 hours apart.

The 2000 NIH Consensus panel did not find significant evidence to support using one drug preferentially over the other.

A second course of antenatal corticosteroids may be considered if clinically appropriate.1  Further repeat courses should be reserved for women enrolled in clinical trials.


  1. Management of preterm labor. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 127. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;119:1308–17. 
 << Guideline 11             Web Guideline Home Page             Guideline 13 >>

May 1, 2014
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