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August 11, 1923


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Second (Cornell) Medical Division, Bellevue Hospital, and the Department of Pharmacology, Cornell University Medical College.

JAMA. 1923;81(6):431-434. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650060001001

Most of the drugs employed as therapeutic agents depend on their entrance into the blood stream, either in sufficient concentration or in sufficient total quantity, for the development of their therapeutic actions. Adequate knowledge of their absorption is therefore of fundamental importance to the development of a rational drug therapy. Modern textbooks on pharmacology, however, while discussing in detail the actions of each of the more important drugs, generally pass over the problems of their absorption with only a word or two, if, indeed, they mention them at all. Books and articles on therapeutics are usually even worse offenders. In fact, there seems to be a more or less general assumption that if a drug is soluble in water it will be absorbed in a satisfactory manner when introduced into the alimentary canal or injected into the subcutaneous or intramuscular tissues. A few seem to take the opposite stand, namely,