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Bone. 1992;13(4):285-8.

Inhaled beclomethasone decreases serum osteocalcin in postmenopausal asthmatic women.

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  • 1Department of Diseases of the Chest, Turku University Central Hospital, Preitila, Finland.


There are very few data as yet to quantify the effect of inhaled corticosteroids on bone metabolism, although the use of these drugs as a first-line treatment in bronchial asthma has widened. We determined the effect of three dose levels (200, 1000, 2000 micrograms/day, three weeks each) of inhaled beclomethasone on specific characteristics of bone metabolism in nine postmenopausal women with new asthma without any previous corticosteroid therapy. Significant decrease was noted in the mean serum morning osteocalcin concentration between the baseline and after nine weeks of beclomethasone (from 4.4 to 3.1 micrograms/l, p = 0.005). Significant increase in serum total and ionised calcium was found, although the parameters measuring bone resorption itself did not change. The results show that especially high-dose inhaled beclomethasone decreases serum osteocalcin in post-menopausal asthmatic women. Further studies are needed to assess the effects of inhaled beclomethasone, both on the ability of the osteoblasts to form bone matrix and on the density of bone during a longer treatment period on inhaled corticosteroids.

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