During the last few years, considerable clinical literature has appeared on the subject of the synergism of magnesium sulphate and morphin. A complete review of these papers is not necessary here, since practically all the writers interpret their findings on the basis of (1) a misunderstanding, and (2) a false conception.
This misunderstanding lies in the fact that sincere but entirely inadequate animal and human experimental work has been accepted as proving that such a synergism exists, whereas careful and thoroughly scientific studies have shown that this simply is not true at all. The belief in this synergism originated with Gwathmey who, in 1921, proposed the conversion of colonic anesthesia, as previously developed by him, into synergistic analgesia by making use of the synergistic effects of magnesium sulphate and morphin when the two drugs are injected hypodermically prior to the introduction of the ether-oil mixture into the colon.
BECKMAN H. THE ALLEGED SYNERGISM OF MAGNESIUM SULPHATE AND MORPHIN. JAMA. 1925;85(5):332–336. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02670050016006
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