Most of an inhaled dose of beclomethasone is actually swallowed, which may lead to reduced absorption of calcium.1 Health practitioners may recommend calcium supplementation to individuals using beclomethasone inhalers.
A group of women with asthma who had been taking inhaled beclomethasone were shown to have low levels of DHEA compared to women with asthma who were not taking beclomethasone.2 The authors speculated that this effect may partially explain how corticosteroids can cause osteoporosis. However, more research is needed to confirm these suspicions and to evaluate whether supplemental DHEA is beneficial to patients taking inhaled corticosteroids.
1. Smith BJ, Phillips PJ, Pannall PR. Effect of orally administered beclomethasone dipropionate on calcium absorption from the gut in normal subjects. Thorax 1993;48:890-3.
2. Smith BJ, Buxton JR, Dickeson J, Heller RF. Does beclomethasone dipropionate suppress dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate in postmenopausal women? Austral NZ J Med 1994;24:396-401.
3. Teelucksingh S, Mackie ADR, Burt D, et al. Potentiation of hydrocortisone activity in skin by glycyrrhetinic acid. Lancet 1990;335:1060-3.
4. Chen MF, Shimada F, Kato H, et al. Effect of glycyrrhizin on the pharmacokinetics of prednisolone following low dosage of prednisolone hemisuccinate. Endocrinol Jpn 1990;37:331-41.
Last Review: 04-29-2014
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