Using corticosteroids for the long term may increase the risk of adverse events compared to occasional use, according to a new study published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion.
Researchers collected data from a privately-insured administrative database where they analyzed 78,704 patients who were diagnosed with an autoimmune or inflammatory disease between 2006 and 2015. Analysts looked at patients who used corticosteroids occasionally (60 days or less) and those who used the inflammatory medication for an extended period of time (longer than 60 days). Of the 78,704 patients, 9.5%, 11%, and 8.6%, respectively, were classified as high-, medium- and low-dose extended corticosteroid users.
Hypertension, pneumonia and osteoporosis were the adverse events with the highest incidence rates.
The authors wrote, “For most adverse events, all levels of corticosteroid use exhibited significant risks of increased incidence compared to intermittent use.”