What are complications of oral glucocorticoids for the treatment of asthma?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: John J Oppenheimer, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

These individuals should be referred to a specialist. The goal is the lowest possible oral glucocorticoid dose for the shortest possible duration. Patients must be screened and then referred or treated for complications, such as cataracts (optometry/ophthalmology screening annually) and osteoporosis (bone densitometry, supplemental calcium, and vitamin D at a minimum, if not contraindicated).

Excluding problems that can mimic asthma, such as VCD in "refractory" glucocorticoid-dependent cases, is important. A truncated inspiratory flow-volume loop on pulmonary function tests suggests possible VCD with corroboratory adduction of the vocal cords during inspiration.


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