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June 11, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(24):1935-1939. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550500021007

A satisfactory explanation for the action of medicines can be found only in a consideration of their chemical relations since drugs can act only by producing chemical changes. In the case of iodin the interrelation between its chemical properties and its physiologic action ought to be found quite readily, since it is an element and its chemical characteristics are well understood. A difficulty arises, however, in discussing the relations of any drug, from the fact that the animal system on which it acts exhibits such a complexity of chemical changes that we cannot adequately explain the effects of even the simplest element on it. Nevertheless it will be worth while to review briefly the more marked chemical properties of iodin to see how far we can go on the road to a rational explanation of its pharmacologic and therapeutic action. This element is remarkable, in the haloid group, for the

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