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Article
November 1913

HEXAMETHYLENAMIN : THE LIBERATION OF FORMALDEHYD AND THE ANTISEPTIC EFFICIENCY UNDER DIFFERENT CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS

Author Affiliations

CLEVELAND

From the Pharmacological Laboratory, Medical School of Western Reserve University.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1913;XII(5):578-612. doi:10.1001/archinte.1913.00070050095009
Abstract

Ever since the recognition of hexamethylenamin as a beneficial therapeutic agent in vesical conditions by Nicolaier1 in 1894, the use of this drug has steadily increased. It has been recommended as an antiseptic agent for practically all of the body fluids, largely on the basis of the fact that after internal administration it has been found present everywhere in the body. Although it has been quite generally recognized that hexamethylenamin is practically non-toxic, the criteria for its action as an antiseptic have only comparatively recently begun to be appreciated. Its decomposition into ammonia and formaldehyd is well known, and it is generally believed by pharmacologists that the bactericidal properties of hexamethylenamin are due to the liberated formaldehyd. However, there has been no absolute proof that free hexamethylenamin may not prevent bacterial growth. Indeed, it is maintained by some clinicians that hexamethylenamin is bactericidal and that the presence of

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