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Corticosteroids have been used as drug treatment for some time. Lewis Sarett of Merck & Co. was the first to synthesize cortisone, using a complicated 36-step process that started with deoxycholic acid, which was extracted from ox bile . [43] The low efficiency of converting deoxycholic acid into cortisone led to a cost of US $200 per gram. Russell Marker , at Syntex , discovered a much cheaper and more convenient starting material, diosgenin from wild Mexican yams . His conversion of diosgenin into progesterone by a four-step process now known as Marker degradation was an important step in mass production of all steroidal hormones, including cortisone and chemicals used in hormonal contraception . [44] In 1952, . Peterson and . Murray of Upjohn developed a process that used Rhizopus mold to oxidize progesterone into a compound that was readily converted to cortisone. [45] The ability to cheaply synthesize large quantities of cortisone from the diosgenin in yams resulted in a rapid drop in price to US $6 per gram, falling to $ per gram by 1980. Percy Julian's research also aided progress in the field. [46] The exact nature of cortisone's anti-inflammatory action remained a mystery for years after, however, until the leukocyte adhesion cascade and the role of phospholipase A2 in the production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes was fully understood in the early 1980s.

A clinical study was conducted to assess the safety of Derma-Smoothe/FS Topical Oil®, which contains refined peanut oil, on subjects with known peanut allergies. The study enrolled 13 patients with atopic dermatitis, 6 to 17 years of age. Of the 13 patients, 9 were Radioallergosorbent Test (RAST) positive to peanuts and 4 had no peanut sensitivity (controls). The study evaluated the responses to both prick test and patch test utilizing peanut oil NF, Derma-Smoothe/FS Topical Oil® and histamine/saline controls on the 13 individuals. These subjects were also treated with Derma-Smoothe/FS Topical Oil® twice daily for 7 days. Prick test and patch test results for all 13 patients were negative to Derma-Smoothe/FS Topical Oil® and the refined peanut oil. One of the 9 peanut-sensitive patients experienced an exacerbation of atopic dermatitis after 5 days of Derma-Smoothe/FS Topical Oil® use. Importantly, the bulk peanut oil NF, used in Derma-Smoothe/FS Topical Oil® is heated at 475°F for at least 15 minutes, which should provide for adequate decomposition of allergenic proteins.

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