Glucocorticoid-induced Osteoporosisin Dermatologic Practice: A Review

November 2008 | Volume 7 | Issue 11 | Original Article | 1053 | Copyright © November 2008

Yulia K. Khan, Amer N. Kalaaji MD, Bart L. Clarke MD

Systemic glucocorticoids are widely used in dermatologic practice for various conditions including connective tissue and immunobullous diseases, vasculitis, dermatitis, neutrophilic and other dermatoses, and androgen excess syndromes. Long-term use of systemic glucocorticoids has been associated with substantial and rapid bone loss, which places patients at increased risk for bone fractures. Therefore, bone density measurements and the timely initiation of lifestyle modifications and pharmacotherapy are essential for future bone health. The use of several Food and Drug Administration–approved agents to prevent and treat corticosteroid-induced bone loss has been inconsistent among many specialties. In this review, the authors summarize guidelines on the prevention and treatment of corticosteroid- induced bone loss published by the American College of Rheumatology and supplement these guidelines with descriptions of the latest approved pharmacologic therapies and user-friendly flow algorithms. This summary should aid dermatologists in providing education and recommendations regarding bone health for their patients on systemic glucocorticoids.