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January 15, 1944


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of the State of South Carolina.

JAMA. 1944;124(3):138-143. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850030006002

In discussions of therapeutic technics there is frequently recurring opinion to the effect that any of the potent nonirritant drugs may be effectively administered by simple application to the oral mucosa.1 Very few drugs, however, are routinely used in this way in regular practice. Recently there were recommendations, both in this country2 and in England,3 that morphine be administered sublingually in those wartime emergencies in which hypodermic injections were not possible. The recommendation was challenged4 and, fortunately, has not been generally accepted. These contradictory opinions demonstrate that there does not exist any clear and general recognition of the scope and limitations of this particular therapeutic technic.

The effectiveness or ineffectiveness of this technic can be determined easily and, in fact, has been determined for many of the common drugs. The methods for establishing such data are simple but do involve more than the mere sublingual administration

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