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BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 27 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:246

Corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment for giant cell arteritis, but they have a well known profile of side effects if used for maintenance. Steroid sparing alternatives include methotrexate, which, when combined with a tapering dose of prednisolone, worked better than prednisolone alone in one small randomised trial. Patients in the methotrexate arm took 25% less corticosteroids than controls during the study but still had fewer relapses (Annals of Internal Medicine 2001;134:106-14).

New York City council is considering a bill that would force children to wear helmets when riding scooters. An outbreak of scooter injuries linked to the recent craze is driving the bill, although sales of scooters seem to have peaked, at least in New York (New York Times 2001 Jan 12:13). Even if the craze lasts, and it probably won't, there is no evidence that helmets prevent scooter injuries, say alternative transport lobbyists. They accuse the council of making scapegoats of children and their parents instead of sorting out dangerous traffic.

Women with troublesome menopausal symptoms should stick to hormone replacement therapy rather than experiment with herbal treatments that are no better than placebo, says an editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia …

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