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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1949 - In the News - Cortisone is Synthetically Produced
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1949!
In 1849, Thomas Addison of Scotland, found that there was a connection between the adrenal gland and a rare disorder now known as Addison's Disease.

In 1936, Tadeus Reichstein of Basel, Switzerland, isolated seven compounds from the adrenal glands. As much was know of steroids by that time, Reichstein and others began feverish work on development of the various compounds to aid in the treatment of a host of ailments.

In 1949, Philip Hench and Edward Kendall isolated and synthetically reproduced the compound known as "E" which became Cortisone.  They held their discovery out as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.  The wonder drug had finally arrived. It was released for use on July 1, 1949.

In 1950, Reichstein, Hench, and Kendall shared in the Nobel Prize for their discovery of Cortisone and their treatment for RA.

Cortisone, a product of the adrenal gland, was first synthesized from a constituent of ox bile, and is now produced commercially from a Mexican yam and from a by-product of the sisal plant. It is used for treating allergies and certain cancers, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

The side effects of cortisone steroids include muscle wasting, fat redistribution, diabetes, bone thinning, and high blood pressure.

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