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November 1976

Prednisone Therapy for Alopecia Areata: A Follow-Up Report

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatric Endocrinology (Drs Winter and Blizzard) and the Subdepartment of Dermatology (Dr Kern), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.

Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(11):1549-1552. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630350025006

• Eighteen patients treated with prednisone on alternate days for varying degrees of alopecia areata (AA) were examined a mean of 15 months after discontinuation of the drug. Despite an initial response to the therapy, long-term benefit was not thought to be substantial. Numerous side effects related either to systemic corticosteroids or to AA were apparent during the course of therapy, as well as at the time of the evaluation reported herein. Acne, obesity, lenticular opacities, mild hypertension, and impaired adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) reserve were among the findings noted. Long-term treatment was not accompanied by an obvious beneficial change in the natural course of AA. Because of the potentially serious side effects and the lack of substantial improvement in the eventual course, alternate-day prednisone therapy is not recommended for long-term use in AA.

(Arch Dermatol 112:1549-1552, 1976)

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