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September 14, 1940

Clinical Toxicology

JAMA. 1940;115(11):958-959. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810370066036

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As stated in the preface, the author's purpose in writing this book was to provide a classroom textbook and a guide for the general medical practitioner. No attempt has been made to discuss in detail the chemistry, pharmacy or general pharmacology of poisons. The author has departed from the usual scheme of classifying poisons according to their chemical composition and has grouped them according to their mechanism of action or chief presenting symptom. From the standpoint of classroom instruction, such a system appears to be more satisfactory than classification on the basis of chemical behavior. It is not without imperfections, however. Thus one finds phenol discussed under three separate categories: as a corrosive poison, as a convulsant and as a kidney poison. Atropine is listed both as a cerebral convulsant and as a nerve depressant. Such subdivision, although pharmacologically accurate, might prove to be just as confusing to the student

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