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To the Editor:
—The increasing number of reported fatalities from cinchophen poisoning emphasizes the need of more accurate information concerning the toxicity of the newer synthetic drugs before they are introduced into therapy. It must be realized that the determination of the toxicity of a drug on lower animals is not an infallible index of the toxicity for man, since the protective or conjugating mechanisms in the human organism in many instances respond quite differently from those of the common laboratory animals. For example, man conjugates benzoic acid almost entirely with glycine, a substance that is synthesized only in limited amounts, whereas the dog combines the drug mostly with glycuronic acid, which is available in relatively large quantities. This probably accounts for the fact that a small dog will easily tolerate 5 Gm. of benzoic acid, while a 10 to 15 Gm. dose in man will frequently cause untoward symptoms.
Quick AJ. TOXICITY OF CINCHOPHEN. JAMA. 1932;99(14):1190. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740660068028