Too much has been written on the possibilities or probabilities of the therapeutic value of drugs and not enough regarding the limitations of their use. It is only within a comparatively short time that physicians have relied on their knowledge of the pharmacodynamics, rather than on tradition based on empiricism, to guide them in their use of drugs. Like the rest of mankind, physicians are prone to follow the calf paths of tradition; and the works on therapeutics are full of references to the success of remedies used by individuals of repute, regardless of the known physiologic action of the drugs in question.
A few years ago I was much impressed by a remark of our eminent therapeutist, Dr. John V. Shoemaker, when he said that he had written so much on the therapeutic value of drugs and had taken so much for granted on hearsay evidence that he felt
HILL WB. THE LIMITATIONS IN THE USE OF ACONITE AND VERATRUM VIRIDE.. JAMA. 1903;XLI(24):1459-1462. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490430007002a