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Asthma in Pregnancy


Lara A. Friel

, MD, PhD, University of Texas Health Medical School at Houston, McGovern Medical School

Reviewed/Revised Sep 2023

General reference

  • 1. Abdullah K, Zhu J, Gershon A, Dell S, To T: Effect of asthma exacerbation during pregnancy in women with asthma: a population-based cohort study. Eur Respir J 55(2):1901335, 2020. doi:10.1183/13993003.01335-2019

Treatment of Asthma in Pregnancy

  • Inhaled bronchodilators and corticosteroids

  • For an acute exacerbation, addition of IV methylprednisolone, followed by oral prednisone

Inhaled bronchodilators and corticosteroids are first-line maintenance therapy for asthma in pregnant women. Budesonide is the preferred inhaled corticosteroid. Based on available data, inhaled budesonide does not appear to increase the risk of congenital malformations in humans (2 Treatment references The effect of pregnancy on asthma varies; deterioration is slightly more common than improvement, but most pregnant women do not have severe attacks. The effect of asthma on pregnancy also varies... read more ).

For an acute exacerbation, in addition to bronchodilators, methylprednisolone 60 mg IV every 6 hours for 24 to 48 hours may be used, followed by oral prednisone in a tapering dose. Women who are currently receiving or have recently required systemic corticosteroids should receive intravenous corticosteroids during labor and for 24 hours after delivery to prevent adrenal crisis.

Treatment references

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Drug Name Select Trade
A-Methapred, Depmedalone-40, Depmedalone-80 , Depo-Medrol, Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, Solu-Medrol
Deltasone, Predone, RAYOS, Sterapred, Sterapred DS
Entocort EC, Ortikos, Pulmicort, Pulmicort Flexhaler, Rhinocort, Rhinocort Aqua, Rhinocort Children's Allergy, TARPEYO, UCERIS, UCERIS Rectal
NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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