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Article
December 5, 1903

THE LEGITIMATE THERAPEUTIC USES OF ALCOHOL.

Author Affiliations

Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics at Yale Medical School. NEW HAVEN, CONN.

JAMA. 1903;XLI(23):1385-1388. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490420003002a
Abstract

In discussing this topic it is best to first state just what we have the right to expect from alcohol as a medicine. The desired action from a dose of whiskey or brandy or its equivalent is a warming of the surface of the body, an increased pulse tension, a moistening of the dry skin, absence of nausea, absence of much flushing of the face, absence of throbbing in the head, unless a case of syncope is treated by a large dose, when many of these primary undesired symptoms might occur. In giving alcohol continuously the dose should be regulated by the signs. If it causes flushing of the face, dry skin, dry tongue, a throbbing, bounding pulse, even temporarily, and the odor of alcohol is on the breath, the dose is too large.

Alcohol is by no means a cure-all, and, undoubtedly, in the past much harm has been done

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