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February 5, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(6):405-406. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680320041014

Nearly fifty years ago, a student1 of rheumatic fever issued a note of warning against overenthusiastic reception of the salicylates as follows: "The immense variety of measures that have at different times been advocated in the treatment of acute rheumatism is almost appalling. Bleeding, blistering, sweating, purging, calomel, opium, cinchona, colchicum, antimony, aconite, guaiacum, niter and actaea racemosa have had every virtue claimed for them that the most ardent practitioner of the healing art could desire, and they have all had their day.... A course of historical and statistical investigation is the best corrector of sanguine hopes from therapeutics, though neither facts nor figures should be allowed to damp our ardor too much." The almost universal adoption of the salicylates in the treatment of rheumatic fever patients has justified Sinclair's warning concerning the acceptance of new therapeutic agents. But this fact should not blind investigators to the desirability of

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