Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2003 Mar;32(1):135-57, vii. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8529(02)00064-6.


Therapeutic use of glucocorticoids can lead to many well-known adverse events. Of all potential serious side effects, glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (GIOP) is one of the most devastating complications of protracted glucocorticoid therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. GIOP is the most common form of drug-induced osteoporosis. Although much has been written about the association of glucocorticoids with bone disease among patients with chronic inflammatory conditions, many issues remain unsettled. This article focuses on areas of continued controversies, including the epidemiology and pathogenesis of GIOP, specification of a "safe" dose, methods for diagnosis of GIOP, and an evidence-based approach for GIOP prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced*
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control


  • Glucocorticoids