Corticosteroids can cause bone loss if taken for long periods and in high doses. High doses are used to treat lung disease, arthritis and other severe conditions. Patients taking corticosteroids daily for three months or longer also should take calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent bone loss. Your doctor should arrange a bone-density test if you have been, or will be, taking high doses of these drugs or inhaled steroid drugs for asthma for longer than three months. Topical corticosteroids are usually safe.

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