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Hydrocortisone (By injection)

Treats inflammation and many other medical problems. This medicine is a corticosteroid.

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Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Drugs for discoid lupus erythematosus

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a severe form of skin inflammation which occurs particularly on sun‐exposed skin. It can cause permanent scarring but this can be prevented by early treatment. All forms of cutaneous lupus erythematosus are most common in women of childbearing age: this is particularly important because some treatments, including thalidomide and retinoids, cause birth defects. This review found that fluocinonide cream is more effective than hydrocortisone. Hydroxychloroquine and acitretin appear to work equally well, although acitretin has more frequent and severe adverse effects. Participants taking acitretin showed a small increase in serum triglyceride, not sufficient to require withdrawal of the drug. The acitretin trial was flawed by the inclusion of people with subacute cutaneous lupus and by the lack of a placebo arm. The trial does not provide evidence that either hydroxychloroquine or acitretin will be effective in people not responding to the other agent as it did not use a cross‐over design.

Corticosteroids for treating cerebral malaria

Cerebral malaria is a severe form of the disease that can induce convulsions and coma; about 15% to 50% of patients with cerebral malaria will die, and 5% to 10% of survivors are left disabled as a result of brain damage.

Antiviral drugs for sudden hearing loss (without known cause)

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is sudden loss of hearing where clinical assessment has failed to reveal a cause. Patients may also suffer from additional symptoms such as tinnitus (a background ringing noise), together with dizziness and a sensation of fullness in the ear. Prompt investigation is essential to identify and treat the hearing impairment. In a large proportion of patients, however, no cause can be found.

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Summaries for consumers

Drugs for discoid lupus erythematosus

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) is a severe form of skin inflammation which occurs particularly on sun‐exposed skin. It can cause permanent scarring but this can be prevented by early treatment. All forms of cutaneous lupus erythematosus are most common in women of childbearing age: this is particularly important because some treatments, including thalidomide and retinoids, cause birth defects. This review found that fluocinonide cream is more effective than hydrocortisone. Hydroxychloroquine and acitretin appear to work equally well, although acitretin has more frequent and severe adverse effects. Participants taking acitretin showed a small increase in serum triglyceride, not sufficient to require withdrawal of the drug. The acitretin trial was flawed by the inclusion of people with subacute cutaneous lupus and by the lack of a placebo arm. The trial does not provide evidence that either hydroxychloroquine or acitretin will be effective in people not responding to the other agent as it did not use a cross‐over design.

Corticosteroids for treating cerebral malaria

Cerebral malaria is a severe form of the disease that can induce convulsions and coma; about 15% to 50% of patients with cerebral malaria will die, and 5% to 10% of survivors are left disabled as a result of brain damage.

Antiviral drugs for sudden hearing loss (without known cause)

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is sudden loss of hearing where clinical assessment has failed to reveal a cause. Patients may also suffer from additional symptoms such as tinnitus (a background ringing noise), together with dizziness and a sensation of fullness in the ear. Prompt investigation is essential to identify and treat the hearing impairment. In a large proportion of patients, however, no cause can be found.

See all (25)

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