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May 7, 1938

PRESENT STATUS OF NICOTINIC ACID IN THE TREATMENT OF PELLAGRA

JAMA. 1938;110(19):1620. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790190090023

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  The enthusiastic reception of the report by Elvehjem and his associates on the efficacy of nicotinic acid and its compounds in curing blacktongue and its immediate application to the problem of human pellagra are natural and commendable, but there is reason to believe that this discovery may be exploited before adequate knowledge of essential facts is available.It would seem justifiable to call attention to paragraphs 7 and 8 of the summary and conclusions of the paper by Spies, Cooper and Blankenhorn published in The Journal February 26. They emphasize that dosage is yet uncertain and that, while nicotinic acid is potent against the mucous membrane lesions of pellagra, further study is necessary before it can be considered a specific for the whole pellagra syndrome.Clinical experience in widely separate localities indicates that nicotinic acid causes rapid, even spectacular, improvement and remission in pellagrins in the presence

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