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May 11, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(19):1859-1863. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810190021006

By reasoning from different premises, diametrically opposite conclusions can be drawn regarding the possible role of sodium and of potassium therapy in allergic disorders. Likewise, diametrically opposite results have been claimed for the use of these substances in the treatment of allergy. The present report represents an effort to evaluate the therapeutic claims for these ions by means of a critical analysis of published reports, a search for possible explanations of the contradictory results obtained by different workers and a study of the effects of potassium therapy in which the clinical results are compared with sodium and potassium concentrations in the blood serum before and after treatment.

Because of certain analogies between the allergic state and Addison's disease, the Pottengers1 treated a group of allergic patients with whole adrenal substance and epinephrine. Sodium chloride was added in amounts of from 9 to 18 Gm. daily. All three substances were