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Clin Perinatol. 2012 Mar;39(1):47-59. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2011.12.017.

Evidence-based neonatal pharmacotherapy: postnatal corticosteroids.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA.


Corticosteroids are used in the neonatal intensive care unit primarily to treat two conditions: bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and hypotension (cardiovascular insufficiency). Historically, high-dose dexamethasone was used for BPD, but its use was later associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes and decreased substantially. Data from randomized controlled trials regarding efficacy and safety of lower-dose dexamethasone therapy are insufficient to recommend its use. Hydrocortisone may be an alternative to dexamethasone, but again data are insufficient to support use. Hydrocortisone therapy is increasingly used to treat hypotension in critically ill newborns; however, the outcomes of this therapy must be evaluated in randomized trials.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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