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September 22, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(12):1008-1009. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590390058021

Any one who has followed the results of the modern scientific study of drugs which have long had a place in empiric medicine must have been impressed with many unanticipated disillusionments. The alleged remedial virtues of more than one widely heralded "vegetable remedy" have persistently avoided the inquiring search of the unbiased therapeutic investigator. Alcohol, long vaunted in its various guises as a prince among stimulants, has been forced to accept the demonstrated rôle of a depressant. Alleged antiseptic washes have proved to retain essentially the hygienic value of cleansing water. The searchlight of truth has no respect for traditions, alone.

These lines are inspired by a timely investigation of the effects of volatile irritants which are among the substances in common use to combat conditions of threatened or actual circulatory failure.1 It has truly been said that the clinical use of the so-called circulatory stimulants, such as the

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