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Arch Dermatol. 1983 Oct;119(10):858-64.

Centennial Paper. November 1951 (Arch Dermatol Syphilol: Cortisone acetate administered orally in dermatologic therapy by Marion B. Sulzberger, Victor H. Witten and Stanley N. Yaffe.

[No authors listed]


Thirty-two patients with various severe or selected dermatoses were chosen for treatment with cortisone acetate by mouth. The criteria for selection included refractoriness to previous therapy and absence of ascertainable contraindications. The initial dose of cortisone acetate varied between 100 and 200 mg. per day. The dose was reduced as quickly as each patient's response permitted, with the object of reaching the lowest effective dose as quickly as possible. Response of most patients to the hormone was dramatic, with abatement of symptoms within 24 hours and substantial improvement of clinical signs within 24 to 48 hours. Details of the results are tabulated. Adverse effects, possibly attributable to the hormone, were noted in five patients. In two instances, moon facies developed, one with hypertrichosis and a 20-lb. (9.1-kg.) gain in weight. However, both of these patients had received corticotropin (ACTH) prior to the cortisone. A third patient showed hyperpigmentation of the areas of skin usually exposed and not covered by clothing. Two additional patients each complained of hyperexcitability and insomnia. All these undesirable effects diminished or disappeared after the dose was reduced or administration of cortisone was discontinued. The effectiveness of this new therapeutic approach in a wide variety of skin diseases is clearly demonstrated by the excellent response noted in this series of selected cases. No other modality known to us has comparable beneficial effects. It is to be stressed, however, that the benefits generally stop soon after cortisone therapy is discontinued, unless the disease or the attack is one with spontaneous remissions. Disagreeable and sometimes dangerous effects still preclude the use of this treatment except in serious diseases and situations, and unless the patient can be kept under sufficiently close and expert surveillance.

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