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June 11, 1955


JAMA. 1955;158(6):473-475. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960060031008a

Bunim and his co-workers recently reported the value of two new synthetic steroids, prednisolone and prednisone, formerly known as metacortandralone and metacortandracin, in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Their preliminary studies indicated that these synthetic steroids possess both antirheumatic and anti-inflammatory action and apparently resemble an adrenal cortical hormone in that they both produce a prompt, significant fall in number of circulating eosinophils and a suppression of urinary 17-ketosteroids. These investigators concluded that these new steroids have three to four times the potency of cortisone without producing any increase in severity or frequency of side-effects. They noted no apparent change in electrolyte balance. In their series, patients who failed to respond to cortisone, hydrocortisone, or corticotropin (ACTH) showed marked improvement with relatively small doses of the new synthetic compound. Prednisone is a synthetic chemical compound that has the following structure:

It is produced by dehydrogenation of the cortisone nucleus at

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