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September 14, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(11):937-938. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810370045014

The use of bromides as sedatives has been known for almost a hundred years. Although the first case of intoxication was reported soon after the initiation of this therapy, many believed that the administration of bromides caused little, if any, more deleterious effects than those following the use of chlorides. More recently bromide intoxication has become so prevalent that there is no longer any question that the various bromide preparations possess distinctive effects, especially on the central nervous system. A recent report1 published in The Journal plainly indicates the frequency with which undesirable effects result from bromide administration. Although the condition appears to be common, physicians may fail to recognize bromide intoxication. There may be, then, a much higher incidence of toxicity than is generally recorded. A frequent cause of intoxication is continued self medication by patients using prescriptions issued by physicians to alleviate the chronic suffering of the