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March 25, 1939


Author Affiliations


Dr. Wald and Dr. Lindberg are Kenneth Smith Fellows in Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School.; From the Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, and the Bettie Soper Clements Memorial Ward of Passavant Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1939;112(12):1120-1124. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800120006002

The increasing use of the thiocyanates in the treatment of hypertension suggests the need of a statement relative to the toxicity of this drug. Heretofore the only reports on this phase of therapy have been sporadic accounts of severe intoxication. Under such circumstances it may be understood that a great disparity of opinion relative to the advisability of using the thiocyanates therapeutically has arisen. This was justified in the face of the lack of satisfactory guides to its proper dosage. After ten years' experience with cyanate therapy, carefully controlled by determinations of the blood content of the drug, we feel prepared to offer a critical analysis of the literature on the subject of its toxicity and to make some suggestions for the clinical guidance to the toxicology and therapeutics of this salt.

It is essential at the outset of this communication to reemphasize the importance of the relationship between thiocyanate