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CURRENTLY more than 125 different types of tablets containing an antirheumatic steroid are being sold in the United States. Thus, it is apparent that one of the early problems in the use of cortisone, that of supply, has been solved. However, the solution has created a new problem. In this issue of The Journal (page 1253) Neustadt appropriately calls attention to the doctor's current dilemma, arising from competitive advertising claims and conflicting medical reports, namely, the selection of an antirheumatic steroid for his patient with rheumatoid arthritis.
Seven different cortisone-like drugs, in addition to corticotropin, are now commercially available for, and commonly used in, the steroidal treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. All seven have qualitatively similar antirheumatic effects; however, they differ notably in certain other characteristics.
Cortisone, currently the least costly, has the additional advantage of the longest period of use. Hydrocortisone exhibits antirheumatic and metabolic effects of about the same
Ward LE. IS THERE A CORTICOSTEROID OF CHOICE FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS? GUEST EDITORIAL. JAMA. 1959;170(11):1318–1319. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010110066013
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