JAMES C. MELBY, M.D.
The biochemical and metabolic effects of the corticosteroids cannot be easily related to their desired anti-inflammatory and antiallergic therapeutic actions. Ordinarily, the corticosteroids have no place in the treatment of uncomplicated rheumatoid arthritis. Corticosteroid therapy is most important in those disorders requiring prolonged, high-dose and short-term intensive therapy. The complications of corticosteroid therapy can be largely reduced if the underlying disease permits alternate-day therapy. Suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system is potentially the most hazardous complication of high-dose, prolonged corticosteroid therapy. This complication can be avoided by the institution of alternate-day therapy but it can become manifest up to 6 months after cessation of therapy.
MELBY JC. Drug Spotlight Program: Systemic Corticosteroid Therapy: Pharmacology and Endocrinologic Considerations. Ann Intern Med. 1974;81:505–512. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-81-4-505
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1974;81(4):505-512.
Adrenal Disorders, Endocrine and Metabolism, Hospital Medicine, Neurology, Pituitary Disorders.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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