Hexamethylenamin is widely used as an antiseptic to prevent and to combat various infections of the serous cavities and blood as well as those of the urinary tract, the wide range of application being due to the striking effects obtained in some cases of cystitis and allied conditions, as well as to the great penetrability of the drug, which after ingestion can be found in every fluid of the body.1 These facts, as well as the possible liberation of free formaldehyd, to which the efficiency of the drug is usually ascribed, would seem to make it an ideal drug in infections, and great claims have been made for its efficacy. But the question arises : Is formaldehyd liberated, and if so, is it in sufficient amount to have an antiseptic action?
Hexamethylenamin is readily decomposed into formaldehyd and ammonia in acid solutions, less readily in neutral or slightly alkaline
McGUIGAN H, HESS CLV. HEXAMETHYLENAMIN. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1914;XIII(6):853-855. doi:10.1001/archinte.1914.00070120015002