Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis: guidelines for prevention and treatment

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Please note: this report has been withdrawn and is not for clinical use.

Prepared by a working group in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians, the Bone and Tooth Society of Great Britain, and the National Osteoporosis Society, published December 2002

Glucocorticoids are widely used to treat a number of medical disorders. At any one time, approximately 1% of the adult population in the UK is taking oral glucocorticoids. Their administration has led to a significant increase in fracture risk of the hip and spine and also loss of bone mineral density.

Several important epidemiological and intervention studies have now been published which provide a substantial increase in the available data on glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. This evidence has been incorporated into these guidelines, which complement the 1999 Guidelines for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and the recent National Service Framework for Older People. These guidelines follow an evidence-based methodology, with stratification of evidence to provide an appraisal of current knowledge presented in the context of the implications for clinical management.

A separate concise guide, incorporating an algorithm for management, and a patient information sheet which gives a clear explanation of the links between glucocorticoids and osteoporosis are included with the full guidelines., which are both available to download.


  • Introduction
  • Epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical characteristics
  • Evaluation· Management
  • Glucocorticoids with potentially bone-sparing effects
  • Premenopausal women, and men and children

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