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April 1967

The Patient, the Prescription, the Problem: Corticosteroid Therapy in Otolaryngology

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology and the Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine at the Medical Center, Chicago.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(4):424-431. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040426016

SINCE the First Clinical Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone (ACTH) Conference, held in Chicago in 1949, a succession of pituitary and adrenocortical hormones have been introduced for clinical use. Not only has the spectrum of corticosteroids widened, but the list of their indications has lengthened beyond expectation and perhaps beyond reason. In general, it is possible to distinguish several stages in the use of corticosteroids. At the outset, considerable enthusiasm led to carefree use and, consequently, to severe side effects, largely because we lacked adequate knowledge in administering corticoids. A more conservative approach followed. During the second stage, use of corticosteroids was primarily recommended in life-or-death situations. The third stage is of recent origin. We believe that we have learned how, when, and under what circumstances to administer corticosteriods; and how to prevent or control some of the unwanted reactions.

Recent medical literature presents many reports and reviews about corticosteroids, but none specific