Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream and Pregnancy
In clinical studies, steroids (such as triamcinolone acetonide cream) have been shown to increase the risk for birth defects and other problems when used during pregnancy. Although triamcinolone acetonide cream is applied to the skin, it may still cause problems. If your doctor recommends using this medicine while pregnant, you should only use it at the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time necessary.
Can Pregnant Women Use Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream?Triamcinolone acetonide cream (Kenalog® cream) is a prescription topical steroid approved for treating itching and inflammation due to a wide variety of skin conditions. Based on information currently available, it is unclear if the drug is safe for use during pregnancy. As with most medications, it should be used only if necessary, at the lowest effective dose, and for the shortest possible time during pregnancy.
What Is Pregnancy Category C?Triamcinolone acetonide cream is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but have caused fetal harm in animal studies.
In addition, medicines that have not been studied in any pregnant women or animals are automatically given a pregnancy Category C rating.
Animal studies have shown that steroids, including triamcinolone acetonide, may increase the risk for birth defects (such as cleft palate) and may cause other problems (such as poor fetal growth). Similar problems might also occur in humans, although the risk is probably smaller for topical steroids that are applied to the skin.
While short-term use (a few days) of triamcinolone acetonide cream applied to a small area of the body is probably not likely to cause problems, extended use or use over a large area of the body should probably be avoided during pregnancy.