Changes in oral corticosteroid use in asthma treatment—A 20-year Danish nationwide drug utilisation study

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Oral corticosteroids (OCS) are used in asthma management but can cause serious adverse effects. We aimed to investigate the usage trends in a nationwide asthma cohort in Denmark from 1999 to 2018. Using national registers, we identified young adults (18–45 years) with two or more asthma drug collections within 12 months since the age of 15 years as indicative of active asthma. OCS exposure level was stratified as high use (≥5 mg prednisolone/day/year) and low use (<5 mg/day/year). Lorenz curves were computed to illustrate potential skewness of consumption among the OCS users. We identified 318 950 individuals with a median age of 29 years (IQR 20–38 years) whereof 57% were women. The 1-year prevalence of OCS users was stable at 4.8% (median, IQR 4.7%–4.8%), but with nearly 40% decrease in high-users from 0.54% in 1999 to 0.33% in 2018. The median annual exposure decreased from 500 mg/year (1999) to 250 mg/year (2018). We found a substantial skewness in the distribution of OCS usage with 10% of users accounting for almost 50% of all OCS use. The prevalence of OCS users among young adults with active asthma has been relatively stable from 1999 to 2018, but with a decreasing prevalence of high-users and annual consumption.

TidsskriftBasic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)122-131
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2022

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT (former Nordic Pharmacological Society). Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


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