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March 4, 1944


JAMA. 1944;124(10):648. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850100038010

The favorable effects of the widespread clinical use of the sulfonamide compounds1 is now reflected in statistics of mortality. Investigations of the principles which govern their effectiveness, as well as interest in chemotherapy in general, have been stimulated. A symposium by the New York Academy of Sciences2 presents much recent information.

The action of the sulfonamides is best evident in disease produced by certain organisms and characterized by acute onset with rapid invasion of the tissues. Rapid invasion is in part concerned with rapid growth of bactiria; the curative action of the sulfonamides is no doubt one of bacteriostasis.

The manner in which sulfonamides produce bacteriostasis is partially understood. The inhibition of the action of sulfonamides by para-aminobenzoic acid is well known. In addition amino acids such as methionine, aminoacetic acid, serine and xanthine have been shown to alter, under certain conditions, the sulfonamide effect. At present it

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