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October 2, 1937

SULFANILAMIDE—A WARNING

JAMA. 1937;109(14):1128. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780400044013

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Abstract

Seldom has any new drug introduced in medical practice aroused the enthusiasm that has developed for sulfanilamide. Much of this enthusiasm is warranted. The drug is truly remarkable, as indicated by startling results reported in the treatment of various infections. Indeed, its coming has stimulated research in pharmacology and biochemistry to a remarkable degree. Moreover, as is customary, departments of research associated with the manufacture of pharmaceutical products have already taken to the long trail of studying similar and associated preparations and derivatives to find something better or just as good which they can call all their own. When these derivatives appear for sale, the optimistic advertising departments will extol them as far superior to sulfanilamide itself. The therapeutic or toxic properties of new drugs cannot be predicted from their chemical formulas. Experience indicates that many of the new drugs will be without therapeutic advantage over the nonproprietary sulfanilamide; some

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