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June 24, 1939

Die Arzneikombinationen

JAMA. 1939;112(25):2629. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800250053037

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The author quotes an ancient Babylonian inscription, "To give a medicine the desired quality, it must be combined of at least two active substances that through suitable quantitative relations antagonize each other's harmful effects while they mutually increase their desired action." It remained for Bürgi, the author of this book, to codify this 4,000 year old proposition and to publish it in 1909 in the form of his well known "law" or, better, rule, which may be formulated thus: Substances that have the same final effect have, when combined, additive action if they have the same point of attack and a superadditive effect when they have a different pharmacologic mode of action. This rule is true not only of drugs but also of nonmedicinal measures and of combinations of these two, e. g. mountain climate and iron in the treatment of anemia. In the present book the author discusses under

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