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March 25, 1974

A Guide Into Chaos: Resist It

JAMA. 1974;227(12):1397-1398. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230250021020

TANDEM articles in the November 1973 issue of the American Journal of Diseases of Children illustrate again the common occurrence in which a drug marketed for one purpose is found useful for another. Porter et al1 reported the successful use of levodopa (Laradopa) as a test for growth hormone deficiency in children, a procedure that avoids the dangers of the more commonly used insulin tolerance test. Raiti et al2 not only confirmed that oxandrolone (Anavar) is effective in stimulating growth in pituitary insufficiency, but demonstrated that combination treatment with that drug and human growth hormone sometimes is better than using either drug alone.

The role of medical journals in bringing therapeutic advances to the attention of the profession tends to make moot the question of whether parallel recommendations are present in drug manufacturers' labeling (package inserts) and other advertising. In fact, as new information accumulates on marketed drugs,