The efficacy of budesonide (800 micrograms b.d.) and beclomethasone dipropionate (750 micrograms b.d.) in controlling the symptoms of asthma, pulmonary function, bronchial responsiveness to histamine, and adrenal function, was assessed in a double-blind, double-dummy cross-over study of 36 adult chronic asthmatic patients. The patients, the majority of whom were assessed to be affected to a severe degree, were insufficiently controlled in their current regimen of inhaled steroids and/or inhaled and oral bronchodilators. A 2 weeks baseline period preceded 6 weeks of treatment with each of the study drugs. Both treatment groups showed improvements from baseline in clinical assessment of lung function carried out after the first 6 weeks of treatment. No significant differences were seen throughout the entire 12 weeks study, when comparing the effects of the treatments on FEV1, FVC, PEF or the histamine PC20. Asthma severity, symptom score and inhaled bronchodilator use showed the same results after both treatments. It is concluded that inhalations of budesonide and beclomethasone dipropionate in high doses are equally potent in the treatment of severe asthma. There is no significant influence on the adrenal function and no significant side effects during a period equal to that of the present study.