Current and emerging therapies for Addison's disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of this article is to review the current therapy of Addison's disease and to highlight recent developments in this field.

Recent findings

Conventional steroid replacement for Addison's disease consists of twice or three-times daily oral hydrocortisone and once-daily fludrocortisone; however, new treatment modalities such as modified-released hydrocortisone and continuous subcutaneous hydrocortisone infusion have recently been developed. These offer the potential for closer simulation of the physiological serum cortisol rhythm. Two studies have also looked at modifying the natural history of adrenal failure using adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation and immunomodulatory therapies, leading to the concept of residual adrenal function in some Addison's disease patients.

Summary

Following more than 60 years with no significant innovation in the management of Addison's disease, these new approaches hold promise for improved patient health and better quality of life in the future.

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