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June 30, 1951


Author Affiliations

D. Med. Sci., Baltimore

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1951;146(9):816. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.63670090002014a

Menthol is a very useful and nontoxic drug prescribed mainly for its analgesic properties. It is used frequently for dermatoses because of its anesthetic and cooling effect and in the form of nose drops or sprays, cough drops, and medicated cigarettes for rhinitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and bronchitis. Like other essential oils, it is also used occasionally as a carminative.

Menthol causes relatively few allergic reactions. It is a well-recognized cause of the eczematous contact type of dermatitis, but in a study of the literature we were unable to find any other allergic reactions recorded.

The present report is that of a case of nonthrombocytopenic purpura caused by menthol present in medicated cigarettes. "' Kool' cigarettes 1 are cigarettes containing U.S.P. grade menthol added to blend of domestic Bright and Burley tobaccos and imported Turkish tobaccos." They are used by smokers because of the cooling effect of menthol on the mucous membranes

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