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May 17, 1941

Current Comment

JAMA. 1941;116(20):2279-2280. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820200049014

IMPAIRED JUDGMENT FROM SULFANILAMIDE  Many therapeutically effective drugs influence the physiologic mechanisms, psychomotor reactions or judgment of persons who take them. When given to patients at rest in bed such drugs have been established as beneficial to the patient and of course harmless to other persons. Under some circumstances, however, drugs may have effects potentially dangerous to both patient and community. Not long ago a locomotive engineer who was taking sulfanilamide for an infection of the bladder was involved in an accident in which considerable property damage was done and a number of people were injured. He described the event as follows:Approaching the station where the accident occurred, a feeling of lassitude seems to have crept over me unawares and to the extent that I do not have much recollection of what went on for the last two or three miles. I was sitting on my seat, looking out