Steroid-induced osteoporosis is osteoporosis arising due to use of glucocorticoids (steroid hormones) - analogous to Cushing's syndrome and involving mainly the axial skeleton. The synthetic glucocorticoid prescription drug prednisone is a main candidate after prolonged intake. Bisphosphonates are beneficial in reducing the risk of vertebral fractures. Some professional guidelines recommend prophylactic calcium and vitamin D supplementation in patients who take the equivalent of more than 30 mg hydrocortisone (7.5 mg of prednisolone), especially when this is in excess of three months. The use of thiazide diuretics, and gonadal hormone replacement has also been recommended, with the use of calcitonin, bisphosphonates, sodium fluoride or anabolic steroids also suggested in refractory cases. Alternate day use may not prevent this complication.
Mechanisms of SIOP include:
In addition to the detection of abnormal BMD, the diagnosis of osteoporosis requires investigations into potentially modifiable underlying causes; this may be done with blood tests. Depending on the likelihood of an underlying problem, investigations for cancer with metastasis to the bone, multiple myeloma, Cushing's disease and other above-mentioned causes may be performed.
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- Steroid-induced osteoporosis By Susan Ott, MD. Updated January 28, 2009. Retrieved on 26 March 2009