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April 21, 1888


JAMA. 1888;X(16):493-494. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400420017003

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Dr. R. De Lucca, Assistant in the Clinic of Prof. Ferrari in the University of Catania, has recently published, in La Riforma Medica, March 22 and 23, 1888, his results with alaninate of mercury (mercuric alanine). He was led to make the experiments with this compound after seeing Schmiedebarg's Compendium der Pharmacologie, in which it is stated that combinations of the oxide of mercury (HgO) with certain amidic acids of the fatty series (acetamide, glycocollamine, asparagine) should act well in the treatment of syphilis; and these preparations have the advantage of being very soluble and easily absorbed. Preliminary experiments on animals showed that mercuric alanine was not very toxic, and caused no local irritation when injected under the skin.

Alanine is α-amidopropionic acid, produced by the action of alcoholic ammonia on α-chloro- or α-bromo-propionic acid, or by heating aldehyde ammonia with hydrocyanic acid and hydrochloric acids, the reactions being precisely

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