Corticosteroids can benefit neonates in several conditions. However, they can have adverse side effects as well.

The primary risk involves prolonged, high dose therapy, especially with agents such as dexamethasone.

Complications of corticosteroid therapy in neonates:

(1) spontaneous intestinal perforation (SIP), with risk increased if also treated with NSAIDs

(2) hyperglycemia

(3) sepsis

(4) impaired neurodevelopment (if therapy prolonged), including cerebral palsy

(5) hypertension

(6) impaired growth

(7) intraventricular hemorrhage (if circulating levels of cortisol is high)

(8) GI bleeding

(9) adrenal suppression

(10) cardiomyopathy

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