Effects of glucocorticoids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in children and adults

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2005 Aug;25(3):541-55, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2005.04.001.


Inhaled and intranasal corticosteroids are widely used as effective, first-line treatments for asthma and allergic rhinitis. Despite a good safety profile of these formulations, there is increasing concern about their propensity to produce systemic adverse effects. Suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is one of the most important potential complications. This article reviews the effects of inhaled and intranasal corticosteroids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in adults and children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / drug effects*
  • Nasal Polyps / drug therapy
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / drug effects*
  • Rhinitis / drug therapy


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids