Complications of long-term steroid therapy for asthma

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Fifty asthmatic patients on long-term prednisone therapy were evaluated for complications associated with steroid administration. The incidence of these complications was compared with the incidence of similar complaints in an age- and sex-matched group of asthmatic patients not taking corticosteroids. Results indicate that there is an increase in weight gain, fluid retention, appetite, easy bruisability, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, epigastric complaints, and electrolyte disturbances in the steroid group. However, most of these complications were of a benign nature and were easily managed. There was no significant increase in documented peptic ulcer, tuberculosis, cataracts, or psychosis. Frequency of complications increased with the age of the patient and the dose of steroids but was not correlated with the duration of therapy. © 1972.




Lieberman, P., Patterson, R., & Kunske, R. (1972). Complications of long-term steroid therapy for asthma. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 49(6), 329–336.

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