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February 1962

The Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Gold

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine Tulane University School of Medicine 1430 Tulane Ave. New Orleans 12

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(2):134-135. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620140006002

Rheumatoid arthritis has been treated with gold salts for at least thirty years, and experienced clinicians still continue to use them despite the blandishments of steroid Sirens. Few studies have been reported, however, presumably because of the notorious difficulty of assessing the effects of a slowly acting agent in a disease so naturally variable, unpredictable, and emotionally charged as rheumatoid arthritis. Most of the few series have attributed some beneficial action to gold, but hardly any of them meet present-day standards for objective appraisal. The report of a carefully designed, controlled study is thus particularly welcome.1

In this double blind trial, two matched groups of 100 outpatients, who had never received gold and who fulfilled certain clinical criteria, were compared. A central statistician allocated patients at random to the treatment or control groups and supplied the unlabeled medication. Patients received twenty weekly injections of either 50 mg. (treated) or

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