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February 11, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(6):540-541. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800060056013

For more than two years the drug sulfanilamide has attracted more interest than any other therapeutic agent, because of the spectacular results which followed its use in many conditions, including certain specific effects in infections with the beta strain of the hemolytic streptococcus. The extensive employment of the remedy has indicated not only the truly remarkable results of the drug but also its decided toxicity. Repeatedly The Journal and the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry have warned against indiscriminate administration.

As always happens after a new discovery in the field of medicine, chemists everywhere, particularly in the employ of pharmaceutic houses, have been stimulated to attempt to find derivatives of sulfanilamide which might be still better than the parent compound. A host of such products has been announced in the chemical and pharmacologic literature. Most have been disappointing in results and frequently more toxic than sulfanilamide. Early in 1938 Whitby