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April 17, 1948


JAMA. 1948;136(16):1027-1028. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890330017005

The intensive search for purified glycosides of the digitalis series in the past seventy-five or eighty years has resulted in the discovery of numerous principles or mixtures of principles such as "digifolin," "digalen," "urginin," "digilanid." lanatoside C ("cedilanid"), digoxin, ouabain, strophanthin and digitoxin ("digitaline Nativelle"). The extent of absorption from the gastrointestinal tract constitutes the most important point of difference between these materials from the practical standpoint, and with respect to this point the vast majority of the purified materials offer no advantage over the whole digitalis leaf. Digitalis leaf has therefore continued to maintain its position of preeminence among the cardiac glycosides in common use. A satisfactory index of absorption in man may be obtained by the ratio of the oral to the intravenous dose necessary to produce the same effect in patients with auricular fibrillation. If this ratio is 10: 1, 10 per cent is absorbed; if the

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