The authors compared the effect of several doses an oral corticosteroid on symptom profile and severity in ragweed hay fever. Thirty-one patients were randomized to receive 0, 6, 12, or 24 mg methylprednisolone (Medrol Tablets [MP], Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI). A baseline week in which no treatment was given preceded the treatment comparison. At the end of this week, symptom diaries showed that most of the subjects were experiencing moderate or severe symptoms. The corticoid produced dose-related reduction in all symptoms. The difference between placebo and 24 mg MP was significant for all the symptoms monitored, except itching, which benefited marginally. With 6 mg MP, congestion, drainage, and eye symptoms showed significant drug-placebo differences but itching, running/blowing, and sneezing did not. Not all rhinitis symptoms responded equally to corticoid treatment. Those that responded least could reflect histamine effect, which was not effectively suppressed by low-dose, short-term corticoid treatment.