The intravenous administration of digitalis preparations has been recommended because of certain advantages claimed for this method of giving the drug. It has been considered that:
The digitalis effects would be produced more quickly because the time needed for absorption from the gastro-intestinal tract would be eliminated.
The digitalis effects would be more certain, because of avoiding the variable absorption from the gastro-intestinal tract.
Because of these things, a smaller dose would be needed to obtain effects.
In the course of using these products in the treatment of patients with cardiac decompensation, it became plain to me that the manufacturers' claims as to potency, and particularly their recommendations as to dosage, were far from correct. It has never been properly demonstrated that any of these supposed advantages of the intravenous use of digitalis are actual facts, and so it seemed advisable to investigate the activity of these preparations. It seemed
PARDEE HEB. HYPODERMIC DIGITALIS PREPARATIONS. JAMA. 1925;85(18):1359–1361. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670180015004