Author(s): Colton FB
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Abstract The announcement from the Mayo Clinic in 1949 of the dramatic effectiveness of cortisone in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis stimulated tremendous interest in steroid chemistry, endocrinology, and related areas of medicine. Shortly thereafter, G. D. Searle & Co. initiated a major effort in steroid research, the objective of which was to discover better steroid drugs than those available at that time or steroids that could be used for conditions for which no compounds were previously available. This effort was remarkably successful and resulted in the introduction of several important pioneering drugs. These included norethandrolone, marketed in 1956 as Nilevar, the first anabolic agent with a favorable separation between protein building and virilization, and spironolactone, introduced in 1959 as Aldactone, the first steroid antialdosterone antihypertensive agent. Of special importance was the research that culminated in the discovery of Enovid. This substance, a combination of the progestin norethynodrel and the estrogen mestranol was first approved in 1957 for the treatment of a variety of disorders associated with the menstrual cycle. The era of oral contraception began in May 1960, when Enovid was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for ovulation inhibition, and was immediately thereafter introduced for such use.
This article was published in Steroids
and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology