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Acta Neurol Scand. 1982 Jan;65(1):6-10.

Effects of using dexamethasone and placebo in the treatment of prolapsed lumbar disc.


Previous reports concerning the treatment of symptoms deriving from prolapsed lumbar disc with systemic administration of the potent steroid dexamethasone, have shown favourable results. The present clinical study includes 39 patients with symptoms of prolapsed lumbar disc, treated in a controlled double-blind investigation with dexamethasone or placebo. Twenty patients had provable effect of the treatment, 19 had no effect. Nineteen patients received dexamethasone (13 + effect), 20 received placebo (7 + effect). The groups were fully comparable, and the difference is not statistically significant. During a period of 3 months 50% of the patients who improved by the treatment of either group had recurrences leading to operation. It is concluded that the effect of dexamethasone given intramuscularly does not seem to exceed that of placebo in the treatment of prolapsed lumbar disc.

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