A slightly increased number of basophilic hepatic foci were observed in chronic rat studies with budesonide and in carcinogenicity studies an increased incidence of primary hepatocellular neoplasms, astrocytomas (in male rats) and mammary tumours (female rats) were observed. These tumours are probably due to the specific steroid receptor action, increased metabolic burden on the liver and anabolic effects, effects which are also known from other glucocorticosteroids in rat studies and therefore represent a class effect. No similar effects have ever been observed in man for budesonide, neither in clinical trials nor from spontaneous reports.
The most common side effect of topical corticosteroid use is skin atrophy. All topical steroids can induce atrophy, but higher potency steroids, occlusion, thinner skin, and older patient age increase the risk. The face, the backs of the hands, and intertriginous areas are particularly susceptible. Resolution often occurs after discontinuing use of these agents, but it may take months. Concurrent use of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) % may reduce the incidence of atrophy from chronic steroid applications. 30 Other side effects from topical steroids include permanent dermal atrophy, telangiectasia, and striae.
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