The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis was investigated in 15 asthmatic children treated with inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate (mean 490 µg/day) and 11 asthmatic control subjects receiving no corticosteroid therapy. Measurements of 24-h urinary free cortisol and 17 hydroxy corticosteroids, serum cortisol, response to ACTH, and the oral metyrapone test showed no significant difference between the two groups. All the patients' results were within normal limits, and carbohydrate metabolism, as shown by blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c, was not affected by beclomethasone therapy. Thus, in the above dose, inhaled beclomethasone does not cause suppression of the hypothalamic--pituitary-adrenal axis.

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