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Inhaled corticosteroids and effects on the eye

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • systemic corticosteroid therapy is a known risk factor for the development of posterior subcapsular cataract

  • there is evidence from an Australian study that the incidence of posterior subcapsular cataract was doubled in past users of inhaled steroids compared with non-users - patients in the study only had had minimal exposure to oral steroids

  • a Canadian case-control study suggested a possible association between the use of regular high dose inhaled steroids and glaucoma in patients aged 66 years or older

  • a study evaluated the evaluated the association between use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) -containing products, specifically fluticasone propionate/salmeterol fixed-dose combination (FSC), and incidence of cataracts and glaucoma among patients with COPD in a large electronic medical record database in the United Kingdom (3)
    • FSC or other ICS exposure was not associated with an increased odds of cataracts or glaucoma, nor was a dose-response relationship observed in this population-based nested case-control study of COPD patients in the United Kingdom


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