(Washington, DC) -- Pregnant women at high risk of premature birth should get a single steroid shot but no more.
That's the word from Canadian researchers who studied more than 18-hundred pregnant women in 20 countries who'd received steroids.
Previous studies had shown that giving at-risk women a single injection of corticosteroids reduced risks to the baby.
The shots cut the incidents of preemie deaths, bleeding in the brain or having breathing problems from underdeveloped lungs.
The steroids sped up the development of the fetus' lungs and blood vessels.
Of the study participants, half continued to receive injections every two weeks, while half received a placebo.
The study showed that giving more injections didn't improve matters and could actually result in smaller babies.
The results are published in the "Lancet" medical journal.
(Copyright 2008 by Newsroom Solutions)