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Exposure to Progesterone Drug Safe in Mid- to Late-Pregnancy

Fetus seems to be unharmed by in utero exposure to 17 α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate in second and third trimesters


MONDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The use of 17 α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy to prevent preterm birth in at-risk women does not appear to have any adverse effects on the fetus, according to a study published in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Allison T. Northern, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues evaluated 278 children a mean 48 months after they were born to mothers who were given weekly intramuscular injections of 17 α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (194 women) or placebo (84 women).

There were no notable differences between children from the placebo and treatment groups in terms of health status or genital anomalies. Given that boys and girls in the treatment group had similar Preschool Activities Inventory scores for gender-specific roles, 17 α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate is not associated with masculinization of the fetus, unlike 19-nor progesterone compounds, the report indicates.

"Overall, this study provides reassurance that 17 α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate is safe for the fetus when administered in the second and third trimesters," the authors conclude.

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