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CORTICOSTEROIDS, ACTH, AND INFECTIONS

JAMA. 1958;167(17):2080-2081. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990340040009.
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I NFECTIOUS diseases in general are characterized by inflammation, fever, and a toxic state.1 Antibiotics and the sulfonamides have been used successfully to stop the growth of the invading organisms but they do not stop the inflammatory reaction. Adrenocorticosteroids and corticotropin, hereinafter referred to simply as hormones, have no antimicrobial action but do reduce the inflammatory reaction and induce a feeling of well-being. For this reason many attempts have been made to combine antimicrobial and hormonal therapy, but unfortunately the hormones cause undesirable sideeffects when used in large doses for a long time. They may activate peptic ulcers or interfere with the body's defense mechanism. Kass and Finland2 stated that when hormones are used in conjunction with antimicrobial agents the former reduce the effectiveness of the latter thus necessitating increasing the dose of the antibiotics. Vascular collapse is one of the most serious complications of severe infection and

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