The idea of anti-inflammatory therapy in medicine arose in the 1950's with the development of corticosteroids. Prior to this time the treatment of phlogistic pathologies was aimed at achieving analgesic, antipyretic and diaphoretic effects. Cortisone and its derivatives have spurred the setting up of a series of pharmacological tests to study their anti-inflammatory activity and to verify their clinical efficacy in rheumatology. The side effects of corticosteroids have promoted research into non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NADs). A new pharmacological class has been created which includes substances-some previously known and some newly synthesized-which can also be used in disease other than rheumatic pathologies. In the E.N.T. field, both cortisone (and its derivatives) and NADs have been applied in many different types of inflammatory pathologies: infective and non infective, acute, subacute, recurrent, chronic and chronic with exacerbations. Modern antiphlogistic therapy avails itself of other therapeutic means of defense as well; means such as proteolytic and secretolytic enzymes, antiedematous substances and the old sulphuric crenotherapy whose action mechanism can, today, be newly interpreted and reassessed in light of modern pharmacological knowledge.