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To the Editor:—
We would like to make a comment on the recent decision made by the Food and Drug Administration to allow further clinical evaluation of dimethyl sulfoxide in the conditions scleroderma, persistent herpes zoster, and severe rheumatoid arthritis (FDA News Release, Dec 22, 1966). The FDA has laid down strict guidelines for the use of this substance in patients suffering from these conditions and has also mentioned the fact that dimethyl sulfoxide may be toxic to embryos. We feel, however, that the potential effect of dimethyl sulfoxide as a teratogen should be reemphasized and kept specifically in mind by investigators about to embark on studies involving this agent. In a letter to the editor in Lancet (1:208, 1966), Dr. Vergil H. Ferm gave evidence that dimethyl sulfoxide was responsible for the development of anencephaly in golden hamster fetuses when the substance had been administered to the pregnant
Stenchever MA, Hopkins A. Dimethyl Sulfoxide. JAMA. 1967;200(11):1000. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120240128036
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