January 1954

Penicillin Decade, 1941-51: Sensitization and Toxicities.

Author Affiliations

By Lawrence Weld Smith, M.D., and Ann Dolan Walker, R.N. Price $2.50. Pp. 117. Arundel Press, Inc., Box 2606, Washington 13, D. C., 1951.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1954;87(1):125. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1954.02050090125025

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The authors in this small monograph succeed in a detailed analysis of the different reactions to penicillin. This decade of the use of penicillin is divided into three epochs: first, a period of use of a crude penicillin of low potency which, however, established its relatively low toxicity; second, the "golden era," 1942-1945, when purity improved purity and great clinical effectiveness, while reactions during this period were in part due to menstrua used as oil, wax, etc.; nevertheless, there were reactions to the penicillin as well; third, the period of development of pure crystalline penicillin G, which is being followed by a possible fourth period, dominated by repository dosage with penicillin procaine and more recently others, as L-ephenamine penicillin.

As the authors state, "Antibiotics are only of value for the treatment of infections due to organisms sensitive to the specific antibiotics being employed." The organism must be identified and its

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