A low but statistically significant link was determined between osteonecrosis and short-term, low-dose oral corticosteroids, according to study findings.
Researchers utilized a software platform to evaluate data from 24,533,880 patients who received either single or multiple methylprednisolone taper pack (MTP) prescriptions during a 12-year span. They then compared the incidence of osteonecrosis in patients who received MTP prescriptions with those who were never prescribed a MTP.
Of the 98,390 patients who received a single MTP, 130 were diagnosed with osteonecrosis, for an incidence rate of 0.132%. Patients who had received two or more MTPs had an incidence rate of 0.230%.
Compared with healthy controls, who had an osteonecrosis incidence rate of 0.083%, patients prescribed a single MTP had a relative risk of 1.591 for developing osteonecrosis, whereas patients prescribed two or more MTPs had a relative risk of 2.763. The between-group difference was statistically significant, according to the researchers.
Women prescribed multiple MTPs who had no prior osteonecrosis diagnoses or steroid use had the highest incidence of osteonecrosis (0.247%; relative risk: 3.094) when compared with sex-matched healthy controls.
Disclosure: The author has no relevant financial disclosures.