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February 13, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(7):488. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670330032013

The susceptibility of different persons to a drug sometimes shows marked variations; occasionally the same individual exhibits variations in sensitiveness at different periods, owing to changes in his physiologic condition or to other factors that cannot be evaluated. Such inequalities in susceptibility are by no means identical, however, with what is commonly described in pharmacologic circles as tolerance. The latter is acquired through continued use of the drug, so that an habitual consumer is often able to take without conspicuous characteristic effects quantities that would lead to untoward results in unaccustomed persons. This is notably true of opium and its derivatives; it is likewise familiar in connection with alcohol. Instances are recorded in which steady drinkers have been in the habit of taking alcohol in daily doses exceeding 10 cc. per kilogram of body weight; that is to say, for an adult, no less than 23 ounces of absolute alcohol,

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