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May 1, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(18):1352-1353. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670440026014

In addition to organic arsenicals and mercury compounds, preparations of bismuth have found a place in antisyphilitic therapy in the last five years. The usefulness of bismuth for this purpose seems to be assured, but there is pressing need of dependable evidence as to the sort of compounds of the element that are most likely to prove useful and as to the cases in which they should be applied. Arsenic and mercury are not uniformly or universally successful; there are cases known in practice as arsenic-fast or mercury-fast. To have an additional potent drug available for the attack in such resistant instances represents a distinct step toward progress. Not a few syphilologists already regard bismuth, properly used, as superior to mercury, though second to arsenicals, in the treatment of syphilis.1 The spirocheticidal potency of bismuth seems to have been demonstrated in both the experimental and the clinical disease.2