The effect of oral and inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate on adrenal function


Dr D. M. Harris, Research Division, Allen and Hanburys Ltd, Ware, Herts.


Beclomethasone dipropionate differs from other steroids previously tried by inhalation in bronchial asthma in having marked topical potency and relatively weak systemic glucocorticoid effects. Experiments in human volunteer subjects demonstrating the effect of this steroid on the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis) are described. These are part of a larger investigation into the reasons for the selectivity of beclomethasone dipropionate in bronchial asthma. From the evidence so far obtained, it may be concluded that suppression of the HPA axis is unlikely to occur at doses up to 1.0 mg/per day by inhalation.