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September 24, 1982

Hazards of Prolonged Use of Beclomethasone Spray

JAMA. 1982;248(12):1449. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330120019009

To the Editor.—  In a recent issue of The Journal (1982;247:885), a question was raised and a reply given by Irwin J. Polk, MD, regarding use of beclomethasone dipropionate spray. The reply is, in my opinion, likely to be misleading to physicians and to result in denying valuable treatment to many patients for whom the quality of life could be greatly improved with little risk of serious side effects. Internists and pediatricians in the United Kingdom and elsewhere have now had up to ten years experience with this inhaled steroid in patients of all ages with asthma. In therapeutic doses of up to 800 mg in adolescents and adults and up to 400 mg in children, it has proved to be largely free of serious side effects. Clinical experience does not suggest significant suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, even after many years of continuous use. Planned studies in children such