While it seems well established, both on a clinical basis and from the present concept of the mode of action of the sulfonamide drugs, that these drugs have no effect on virus infections, they are nevertheless being widely used in the treatment of such conditions as the common cold, influenza and atypical pneumonia symptom complexes which are difficult to evaluate clinically from a causative standpoint because of lack of simple laboratory diagnostic procedures but which in most instances are considered to be caused by virus infections.
Such use of the sulfonamide drugs is based on several premises: the prevention of secondary bacterial infections, the danger of withholding treatment in cases of pneumonitis caused by unrecognized sulfonamide sensitive bacterial infections, and possibly chiefly because the American physician has become extremely sulfonamide conscious and, as newer and less toxic forms have been devised, has become less hesitant in the use of these
RUSK HA, van RAVENSWAAY AC. SULFADIAZINE IN RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS: ITS VALUE IN TREATMENT DURING WINTER OF 1942-1943 AT JEFFERSON BARRACKS, MISSOURI. JAMA. 1943;122(8):495–496. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840250019005
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