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January 29, 1938


Author Affiliations

San Francisco.

JAMA. 1938;110(5):387-388. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790050065021

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To the Editor:—  Recently it was brought to my attention that two proprietary bismuth-iodine products are being distributed to the medical profession for oral use in the treatment of syphilis. These two products are Bismuth-Iodine Compound, distributed by S. E. Messengill Company, Bristol, Tenn., and Bisiodide, distributed by Salb Laboratories, Inc., Seymour, Ind. Neither one of these products stands accepted by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry.Since our department has done considerable work with bismuth for oral use and with a bismuth-iodine complex (iodobismitol), we were interested in determining whether gastro-intestinal absorption of bismuth could be demonstrated with these products. Adequate absorption of bismuth is, of course, an indispensable requirement for antisyphilitic treatment. We learned several years ago that sodium iodobismuthite, the soluble bismuth-iodine complex in iodobismitol, was not absorbed from the alimentary canal of animals given liberal gastric doses because this complex is hydrolyzed and the bismuth rendered

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