A short time after the appearance of the first clinical report on the use of dinitrophenol,1 we began a series of studies of its effects in producing weight loss in obese patients. It seemed important to determine whether the metabolic stimulation produced by the drug was accompanied by evidence of injury to the patients.
Dinitrophenol first came to the attention of the medical profession as an industrial poison.2 Although during the World War poisoning of those working with it in munitions plants was frequent,3 physicians and drug manufacturers, undeterred by the early history of the drug, have brought about a tremendous usage during the past year. One clinic has supplied to physicians, or to patients on physicians' prescriptions, over 1,200,000 capsules of 0.1 Gm. each, corresponding to about 4,500 patients treated with the drug in one year. More than twenty wholesale drug firms are marketing the compound.