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JAMA 100 Years Ago
July 22/29, 1998


Author Affiliations

Brian P.PaceMA, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 1998;280(4):322. doi:10.1001/jama.280.4.322

Dr. Andrew H. Smith of New York says that in following out certain suggestions contained in an article in the Lancet, regarding the free administration of pure carbolic acid in scarlatina, he has been astounded at the enormous doses of carbolic acid that may be safely given to a person provided the acid used is pure. He also asserts that the occurrence of smoky urine, or "carboluria," is no cause for alarm, as it does not imply any diseased condition of the kidney, and is not accompanied or followed by albuminuria. He has given patients the enormous daily dose of two and one-half drams of pure carbolic acid, diluted with water, and has kept this up for two or three weeks at a time without observing any deleterious effects from it. Of course, the urine of these patients was either smoky when voided, or became very dark after exposure to the air from oxidization of some of its constituents. These experiments, it need hardly be added, were not conducted for the purpose of satisfying an idle curiosity regarding what the human organism was capable of enduring, but with a view to a utilization of this, or some other similar antiseptic, in the internal treatment of various infectious diseases.—Philadelphia Medical Journal, April 23.

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