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January 4, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(1):39-40. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480010043013

For years the venerable N. S. Davis has fought the use of alcohol as a therapeutic agent, maintaining in the face of a more or less general professional opinion to the contrary that alcohol even as a drug is dangerous and detrimental. This teaching in regard to alcohol seems to be gaining ground and is receiving notable reinforcement from recent experimental investigations in regard to the action of this substance in infections in animals. The work of Abbott and of Laitinin, already commented upon in these columns,1 shows conclusively that alcohol increases the susceptibility of animals to infections. Most of the experimenters have employed rather large quantities of alcohol, quantities relatively so large as to be directly toxic. In order to avoid the criticism likely to be brought against the applicability to human medicine of the results of these experiments in which large doses were used, Goldberg2 studied

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