Inhaled corticosteroids have become a key element in the maintenance treatment of chronic bronchial asthma there generic claritin. It is well accepted that compared with systemic administration of steroids, the inhaled route is efficacious and has fewer side effects. Osteoporosis is a known side effect of chronic systemic steroid use, but the effect of long-term use of inhaled steroids on bone mass largely is unknown. There have been recent studies on the biochemical effect of inhaled steroids on bone turnover, suggesting that these drugs may cause depressed bone formation or increased bone resorption2 and, hence, the risk of osteoporosis. Information about the effect on bone mass is scanty and the results are conflicting.” The aim of the present study was to investigate bone mineral density (BMD) in a group of asthmatic patients who have been treated with inhaled steroids with or without nasal steroids.
Thirty Chinese patients with bronchial asthma regularly followed up at the outpatient clinics in two hospitals in Hong Kong were recruited into the study. All patients had been using inhaled corticosteroids regularly for at least 3 months. All female patients were premenopausal. No patient had a history of chronic systemic steroid use (defined as any dose taken for more than 1 month continuously), more than 4 booster courses of systemic steroids in the past, or systemic steroid use in the previous 3 months. Daily calcium intake of each subject was assessed by a questionnaire in which the frequencies and portion sizes of common food items consumed were determined by the recall method. Thirty control subjects were selected based on matching criteria from a larger group of randomly recruited normal individuals from the general Chinese population of Hong Kong. They were matched individually to the patients for sex, age (within ± 2 years), menopausal status, and body mass index (BMI [within ± 5 percent]).
Exclusion criteria for both patients and control subjects included pregnancy, current or past history of any disease (including alcoholism), and use of any drugs (including oral contraceptives, thiazides, vitamins, calcium and mineral supplements) which might affect bone metabolism.