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April 29, 1939


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1939;112(17):1671-1675. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800170017006

The very slight solubility of sulfapyridine (2-[paminobenzene sulfonamide] pyridine) in water renders parenteral administration of this drug difficult when a route other than oral administration is desired. The poorer and more erratic absorption from the gastrointestinal tract of sulfapyridine as compared to sulfanilamide1 necessitates its parenteral use in certain cases if high blood concentrations are to be attained. Sulfanilamide is sufficiently soluble to allow the use of subcutaneous administration of a saturated solution in physiologic solution of sodium chloride but in the case of sulfapyridine several liters of fluid would have to be given. Whitby2 has suggested the injection of an oil suspension of sulfapyridine intramuscularly. There are objections to this procedure and even possible dangers.3 The very soluble sodium salt of sulfapyridine recently described and studied by Marshall, Bratton and Litchfield1 would appear to offer a means of parenteral administration of the drug.

Since a solution of sodium sulfapyridine is strongly alkaline (PH 10.4 to 11.0), the only possible route of parenteral administration is the intravenous one. The PH of such a solution is some what higher than that of a sodium salt of a barbiturate4 and lower than that of alkalinized arsphenamine,5 but the total amount of alkali given at a dose would be greatest in the case of sodium sulfapyridine. With the experience of intravenous