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December 17, 1938


JAMA. 1938;111(25):2304-2305. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790510052015

Apparently sulfanilamide possesses a specific chemotherapeutic effect on the beta-hemolytic streptococcus; it is of low toxicity, is easily administered, is quickly absorbed and is more effective in vivo than in vitro. The results obtained in the treatment of puerperal sepsis (Colebrook and Kenny) and in hemolytic streptococcus meningitis (Long and Bliss) are sufficiently dramatic to warrant the enthusiasm aroused by this new chemotherapeutic agent. Its administration in man is associated with definite though not necessarily unavoidable or serious hazards. In a recent communication, Long and Bliss1 analyze toxic manifestations which have occurred during the course of treatment with sulfanilamide in 335 cases at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The most common toxic effects manifested were dizziness, headache, a loss of ability to concentrate, anorexia, nausea and, in some instances, vomiting. Cyanosis of varying degrees was almost constant. This is said by some observers to be due to sulfhemoglobinemia, by others