Studies of the adrenal gland cortex identified that some naturally-occurring hormones (also called steroids) have anti-inflammatory properties. Following isolation from its natural source in 1936, cortisone was synthesized by the American Lewis Hastings Sarett in 1948.
Owing to its miraculous activity in rheumatoid arthritis cortisone was commercially manufactured from the following year.
Subsequent clinical studies showed that it did not cure arthritis, triggered serious side effects, but enjoyed additional uses in asthma and allergy treatments. Further studies of steroid synthesis led to the creation of prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone as better anti-inflammatory agents with reduced side effects. These substances proved to be much more efficient anti-inflammatory agents, and their application caused less severe side-effects.