Locoid Lipocream and Pregnancy
When steroids such as Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate) were studied in pregnant animals, the risk for birth defects and other problems increased. It is unknown if these problems would occur in humans as well, but it is probably best to avoid using this medicine over a large area for extended periods.
Locoid Lipocream® (hydrocortisone butyrate) is a prescription topical steroid approved for treating a variety of different skin conditions in adults as well as children as young as three months of age. At this time, it is unclear if the drug is safe for use during pregnancy. Steroids should be used only if necessary, at the lowest effective dose, and for the shortest possible time as necessary during pregnancy.
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 studied in pregnant humans but do appear to cause harm to the fetus 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.
Locoid Lipocream is a steroid. Animal studies have shown that steroids may increase the risk of birth defects, such as cleft palate, and may cause other problems, such as poor fetal growth or decreased survival.
In other animal studies, hydrocortisone butyrate (the active ingredient in Locoid Lipocream) appeared to increase the risk of poor fetal growth, miscarriages, and fetal malformations. Similar problems might also occur in humans, although the risk is probably smaller with topical steroids, which are applied to the skin, like Locoid Lipocream.
While short-term use (a few days) of Locoid Lipocream applied to a small area of the body is probably not likely to cause problems (although this is not known for sure), extended use or use over a large area of the body should generally be avoided during pregnancy if possible.