, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 249-257
Date: 15 Apr 2008

Fracture Risk Associated with Different Types of Oral Corticosteroids and Effect of Termination of Corticosteroids on the Risk of Fractures

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We conducted a case–control study on fracture risk associated with the use of orally administered prednisolone/prednisone, budesonide, methylprednisolone, and hydrocortisone to assess if the various preparations were associated with different fracture patterns. Cases were all subjects with any fracture sustained during the year 2000 (n = 124,655). For each case, three controls (n = 373,962) matched on age and gender were randomly drawn from the background population. Adjustments were made for concurrent diseases, use of other drugs, and a number of other factors. Oral prednisolone/prednisone was associated with a dose-dependent increase in fracture risk starting from a dose of around 6.7 mg/day. Oral budesonide was not associated with an increase in overall fracture risk, but the doses in general were low (<3 mg/day). Oral hydrocortisone was not associated with overall risk of fractures. Oral methylprednisolone was only used intermittently and was not associated with an increase in overall fracture risk at the low doses used. After termination of oral prednisolone/prednisone, it took more than 1 year for fracture risk to return to the levels of the background population. Oral prednisolone is associated with a dose-dependent increase in overall fracture risk. Budesonide at low doses did not seem to be associated with fracture risk. Hydrocortisone was not associated with an increase in the risk of fractures. It may take a year from last use of prednisolone/prednisone before fracture risk returns to that of the general population.