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March 24, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(12):875-877. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510390033002



METALLIC ASTRINGENTS.  The insoluble salts of bismuth are admirably adapted for the protection of the intestinal mucosa from Irritations of various kinds. While as much as thirty times the average single dose of bismuth salts has been given in the course of a day, by mouth, without any distinct evidence of untoward results, absorption and poisoning have followed the external use of bismuth salts as a dusting powder when used over a large surface.Owing to the extremely poisonous nature of bismuth when absorbed, the soluble salts seem to us to be entirely superfluous, particularly as their solubility precludes the very object for which bismuth compounds are chiefly used—that is, for the mechanical coating of the surface with a protective layer of insoluble powder. It must be admitted, of course, that even the soluble salts of bismuth are astringent, but we have many safer astringents which

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