Treatment of immunologically mediated diseases has been hampered by the lack of therapeutic agents capable of selectively altering distinct areas of the immune network. Unfortunately, most immunomodulating drugs with such capability are not selective in their suppressive effects, often causing untoward reactions such as infection. In an attempt to obviate these effects, new schemes of administering these agents so as to minimize adverse side effects and maximize benefits have been developed. Such regimens utilizing corticosteroids and certain cytotoxic drugs are proving effective. Progress with probably be limited to the devising of new protocols for existing pharmacologic agents until newer drugs are developed that can more precisely modify specific phases of the exaggerated immune reactivity characteristic of immunologically mediated diseases.
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