Corticosteroids

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Corticosteroids

The adrenal cortex secretes steroidal hormones which have glucocorticoid, mineralocorticoid and weakly androgenic activities. Conventionally, the term ‘corticosteroid’ or ‘corticoid’ includes natural gluco and mineralocorticoids and their synthetic analogues.


CORTICOSTEROIDS

 


The adrenal cortex secretes steroidal hormones which have glucocorticoid, mineralocorticoid and weakly androgenic activities. Conventionally, the term ‘corticosteroid’ or ‘corticoid’ includes natural gluco and mineralocorticoids and their synthetic analogues.

 

By the middle of 19th century it was demonstrated that adrenal glands were essential for life. Later it was appreciated that the cortex was more important than the medulla. A number of steroidal active principles were isolated and their structures were elucidated by Kendall and his coworkers in the 1930s. However, the gate to their great therapeutic potential was opened by Hench (1949) who obtained striking improvement in rheumatoid arthritis by using cortisone. The Nobel Prize was awarded the very next year to Kendall, Reichstein and Hench.

 

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