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February 6, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(6):439-443. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780060005002

Most textbooks on pharmacology and therapeutics give phenolphthalein a clean "bill of health" as far as its effect on the kidney is concerned. Thus Sollmann1 states: "The kidneys are not irritated, nor are there any other systemic effects." Bastedo2 says: "In extensive clinical use of the drug with frequent urine examinations there has been no albuminuria." There are, however, some textbooks on the subject which report that phenolphthalein has produced albuminuria. The literature on the subject, which will be reported on later in this article, is in a similar condition: for, while nearly all authorities on the subject find phenolphthalein harmless to the kidney, there are a few reports extant that would suggest an opposite possibility.

In consideration of the enormous consumption of phenolphthalein by our people, possibly three billion doses a year, the question whether phenolphthalein produces albuminuria or damages the kidney in any way is so

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