In a double blind crossover study oral prednisolone was compared with intramuscular depot triamcinolone in the treatment of 20 patients with severe chronic asthma. A short term study comparing each treatment over four weeks showed only minor differences in therapeutic efficacy, but at the end of 24 week periods on each of the two treatments triamcinolone was significantly more effective than prednisolone in terms of forced expiratory volume in one second and forced vital capacity. Better control of asthma was accompanied by a significant fall in weight and some evidence of reduced adrenal suppression (improved cortisol response following a short tetracosactrin test). Side effects, including menstrual irregularities, muscle pain, and hirsuitism, were, however, more common during treatment with triamcinolone.
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