Antenatal steroid treatment is an injection of corticosteroid given in one of the large muscles of mom; either arm, leg or bottom, and it travels into the baby’s blood stream from mom. The reason for this is a threat of pre term labour, also known as premature delivery. The concern is that the baby’s lungs in particular are immature, so the injection is used to mature the lungs and increase survival rates.
It is thought that one dose of injections proves to help the baby’s progression, as it speeds up the lungs’ maturation and prepares the baby for birth. Multiple doses of injections, for example weekly, can have ill effects on the baby. There has been no data to suggest safety of weekly doses given, and plenty to show harm, but they are given to moms deemed at risk of premature labour.
The image to the right shows how a lot of people are “at risk”, and it is down to your good old obstetrician to make the decision if you need one, two or even more doses of steroids. It is called predictive prematurity, when they take all of the data and conclude your risk outcome.
So how harmful are steroids? After reading up on the subject, I have come to the conclusion, like with most things in healthcare, when used correctly at the right time, they will save lives at a risk. As usual though, trends start and things get out of hand.
Interventions that can be harmful are quite common, and this is another one.
First of all let’s look at the ingredients within the Corticosteroid injection, starting with Dexamethasone;
Each ml of solution contains 3.3 mg dexamethasone (as sodium phosphate) which is equivalent to 4 mg dexamethasone phosphate or 4.3 mg dexamethasone sodium phosphate…Excipients: Sodium citrate, disodium edetate, sodium sulphite anhydrous (E221), Water for Injections, sodium hydroxide and hydrochloric acid.” (Electrical Medical Compendium).
Sodium Hydroxide is well known for its abilities to break down tissues and was once used to dispose of dead animal flesh, as it will turn the body to liquid, so it is no surprise it is a hazardous toxin that causes burns and is a known poison. If ingested, inhaled or touched medical attention should be sought.
Sodium Citrate is a preservative derived from fermented sugars from corn which is probably GMO.
Disodium Edetate (EDTA) is cytotoxic which means it is harmful to cells. It reacts with other ingredients making them more easily absorbed into the skin. Surprise, surprise it is linked with infertility.
Hydrochloric acid is an irritant which can cause lung damage when exposed to the vapours. If you ingest, inhale or touch hydrochloric acid you must seek medical assistance, and it is incompatible with sulphites, causing a violent heat reaction.
Surely we could have these injections without, preservatives, gelling agents, toxic combinations to counteract each other, promote each other, or whatever the… each other?
In the leaflet for Dexamethasone made by, Hospira it says,
Administration of corticosteroids to pregnant animals can cause abnormalities of foetal development including cleft palate, intrauterine growth retardation and effects on brain growth and development” (Dexamethasone Patient Leaflet)
Some have blamed the sulphites themselves for these side effects,
Sulfite preservatives which are used in dexamethasone preparations…there is an increased neuronal death after exposure to pharmacological preparations of dexamethosona containing sulphites or to isolated sulphites” (Reece, Clinical Obstertrics,2007)
Reece then explains, as many of us anti-vaccine warriors are aware, that when toxins are injected they are more harmful. Many people who defend toxins in injections argue that you can swallow so many mgs without serious harm. This is because your stomach is defending you; injections bypass this system of defence, making them so much more more dangerous than if swallowed.
when dexamethasone is administered intravenously or intramuscularly, it reaches higher peak blood levels…these levels of dexamethasone may cause the observed neuronal damage.
Not only do they cause neuronal damage but research also;
found increased rates of neonatal and maternal infections, fetal, neonatal and maternal adrenal suppression, decreased fetal and neonatal sematic and brain growth, and increased perinatal mortality” (Stokowski, 2004, Controversies in using steroids; From fetus to newborn).
McLaughlin et al, in 2003 found that pregnancies did not benefit from corticosteroid treatment and that the infants were three times higher the risk of mortality.
What does show up in every animal study is ‘Myelin damage, myelin is an insulation of nerve fibres, ‘white matter’. It is thought that it maintains communication through distant body parts. Without it you are at risk of neurodegenerative auto-immune disorders.
A surprisingly diverse range of psychiatric and nervous system disorders are accompanied by changes in white matter structure or abnormalities in myelin genes (see Box 1). Polymorphisms for several myelin genes have emerged as unexpected risk factors for schizophrenia [3,4], depression  and obsessive-compulsive disorder . Post mortem examination of brain tissue from patients suffering schizophrenia [4,6], major depression  and bipolar disorder” (Fields, 2008).
Not only does this injection cause harm to the working of the brain, but the size can be physically smaller. Animal studies have repeatedly shown negative effects upon the morphological (which means the form of), the physiological, (which is the living organism), and the behavioural. Other side effects reported have been lung disease, cerebral palsy, low birth weights and infant and maternal infections.
This injection can interfere with every part of the infant, on every level, and even be fatal. This evidence is readily available, yet we still have the ‘infatuation’ warned by Doctors back in 2004, over ten years ago, with multiple uses of this drug, which is proven ineffective and harmful. Many agencies claim in light of research that what is called ‘rescue therapy’ or multiple courses, should be abandoned (Stokowski,2004), yet…
According to the American college of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), a repeated course of steroids is acceptable if previous treatment was completed over 14 days prior, but only before 34 weeks gestation …7 days prior and before 26 weeks in Britain”(Romjeko-Wolniewicz et al,2014),
The reason given for this is because;
there is evidence that the effectiveness of antenatal corticosteroids diminishes with time, so if birth has not occurred within seven days of corticosteroid administration it is common practice to administer a second course of corticosteroids” (Sheilds et al, 2012).
Well, the effects that they deem positive (the lung maturation) may wear off, but the negative effects of the injection itself, upon sheep for example, lasted until adulthood.
There are discussions about dexamathasone not being used and betamethasone being used, as it has lower side effects, but studies I have discussed used both drugs. Dexamethosone is still being used and administered although cited as more harmful in relation to betamethasone, which is why I chose dexamathasone to discuss, because I think the fact it is still in use when noted as more harmful is disgusting. However, the baboon study by Sheild used both drugs and found both singular and multiple doses of these drugs harmful to brain matter.
Again we have a preventative measure, which used in emergencies could save a baby’s life, but we have unsupported evidence to promote multiple use. In that situation, a single dose giving a side effect of “myelene damage” to a lesser degree than multiple courses should be the family’s decision, not the obstetrician’s. I understand this is difficult, when you have a family in pre term labour at 28 weeks, you want to prolong the labour and administer steroids to promote immediate maturation of the lungs so the baby survives labour and the following weeks after. Do they have time in such a small window to give the parent all of this information?
These are all problems that we need to deal with when administering medications which on application whether singly or multiply have these harmful effects;
Both single and repeated courses of corticosteroids caused astrogliosis in the subcortical and deep white matter”(Sheilds,2012).
Astrogliosis is when the central nervous system is damaged because of mass destruction to nearby neurons. Astrogliosis is mostly seen in stroke victims.
I will leave you with this quote by sheilds (2012), as it seems this is where the discussion is at, nowhere;
whether obstetricians should continue to give repeated course of corticosteroids remains controversial”(Sheilds,2012).
Damn straight, and damn wrong.
We need to start asking questions and applying pressure about why our children are having toxins enter their systems so readily, we need to make good people feel uncomfortable, by asking questions they cannot answer or ignore, and that they will then need to research themselves because we have made them.
I am getting more and more disgusted at the state of our antenatal healthcare, and I hope you are too.