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May 4, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(18):1733-1734. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810180009003

When sulfapyridine was introduced for clinical use in the treatment of pneumococcic infections in July 1938 by Evans and Gaisford1 it was found that a considerable number of persons could not tolerate the drug by the oral route. Later it was discovered that the absorption of the drug from the gastrointestinal tract was erratic. There was no direct relationship between dosage and blood level of the drug even when such factors as the intake and output of fluid and the weight of the patient were controlled. This was ascribed to the relative insolubility of the drug compared with sulfanilamide.

In December 1938 Marshall2 described the production of sodium sulfapyridine, which is soluble, and performed toxicity experiments on animals. Following his directions for preparation, we began giving pneumonia patients cutaneous tests with solutions of sodium sulfapyridine in varying strengths and found that solutions up to 1 per cent gave

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