In addition to the mentioned side effects several others have been reported. In both males and females acne are frequently reported, as well as hypertrophy of sebaceous glands, increased tallow excretion, hair loss, and alopecia. There is some evidence that anabolic steroid abuse may affect the immune system, leading to a decreased effectiveness of the defense system. Steroid use decreases the glucose tolerance, while there is an increase in insulin resistance. These changes mimic Type II diabetes. These changes seem to be reversible after abstention from the drugs.
Corticosteroid myopathy presents as weakness and wasting of the proximal limb and girdle muscles and is generally reversible following cessation of therapy.
Corticosteroids inhibit intestinal calcium absorption and increase urinary calcium excretion leading to bone resorption and bone loss. Bone loss of 3% over one year has been demonstrated with prednisolone 10 mg per day. Postmenopausal females are particularly at risk for loss of bone density. Sixteen percent of elderly patients treated with corticosteroids for 5 years may experience vertebral compression fractures. One author reported measurable bone loss over two years in women on concomitant therapy with prednisolone mg per day and tamoxifen. [ Ref ]
A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study compared the efficacy of Pulmicort Respules and placebo in the treatment of croup in 83 infants and children (aged 6 months to 8 years) admitted to hospital for croup. Patients received either Pulmicort Respules 2 mg or placebo every 12 h for a maximum of 36 h or until discharge from hospital. The total croup symptom score was assessed at 0, 2, 6, 12, 24, 36 and 48 hours after the initial dose. At 2 hours, both the Pulmicort Respules and placebo groups showed a similar improvement in croup symptom score, with no statistically significant difference between the groups. By 6 hours, the croup symptom score in the Pulmicort Respules group was statistically significantly improved compared with the placebo group, and this improvement versus placebo was similarly evident at 12 and 24 hours.