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Steroid Administration May Be Valuable in Herpes Zoster

JAMA. 1964;188(5):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060310092042.
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The prompt administration of large doses of steroids or corticotropin (ACTH) can dramatically transform herpes zoster into "quite a minor affair," the chief of neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, told the American College of Physicians last month in Atlantic City.

Although there have been some 20 reports in the literature, curiously enough "it is not generally appreciated that this treatment is usually successful," Frank A. Elliott, MD, remarked.

Pain, the most serious aspect of the disease when the trunk or the limbs are involved, can be allayed within 36 hours, and the incidence of the sight loss that may result when the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve is involved is greatly reduced, Elliott declared.

Reporting his personal experience with 16 treated patients and 12 untreated controls, Elliott said that large doses of prednisone given within three days of the appearance of the rash successfully arrested pain in 12 to


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