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Article
June 1954

EFFECT OF CORTISONE ON THERAPEUTIC EFFICACY OF ANTIBIOTICS IN EXPERIMENTAL INFECTIONS

Author Affiliations

With the Technical Assistance of E. R. Merrill, B.A. SAN FRANCISCO

From the Departments of Microbiology, Medicine, and Pediatrics, University of California School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;93(6):850-862. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00240300044005
Abstract

THE ADMINISTRATION of cortisone to severely ill patients often results in marked, though transient, symptomatic improvement, suppression of fever, and apparent reduction in the "toxic state." Physicians therefore are tempted to employ cortisone as an aid in treatment in the hope of tiding a patient over the severest part of an illness until other therapeutic measures can take effect. It is generally known * that cortisone and corticotropin tend to promote the spread of infections and to activate latent infectious processes. Therefore antimicrobial agents are usually administered together with the hormone in such instances to "cover" the potential deleterious effect of cortisone on an existing infection. It is assumed that the hormone will not interfere with the therapeutic efficacy of the antimicrobial agents. This assumption rests on scanty evidence. Several investigators found that cortisone or corticotropin enhances experimental infections with pneumococci or streptococci in laboratory animals but that large doses

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