Systemic corticosteroids for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Benefits and risks

D. E. Niewoehner

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Systemic corticosteroids have become an increasingly common therapy for patients with stable and unstable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), despite uncertain clinical efficacy and known adverse effects. A recently completed, large clinical trial has confirmed that systemic corticosteroids hasten recovery from exacerbations of COPD. Maximum benefits occur with only 2 weeks of therapy. The appropriate role of systemic corticosteroids in stable COPD has not been adequately defined. Prolonged therapy with systemic corticosteroids confers a large risk for developing osteoporotic fractures. Measures for reducing this risk are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-426
Number of pages5
JournalMonaldi Archives for Chest Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Corticosteroids
  • Osteoporosis


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