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March 16, 1984


Author Affiliations

From the School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego; La Jolla.

JAMA. 1984;251(11):1475-1476. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340350065032

Brief History of the Sulfonamides  Although sulfanilamide was discovered by a German. graduate student named Gelmo as early as 1908, the therapeutic potential of the sulfonamides was not appreciated until the demonstration by Domagk that Protonsil protected mice from streptococcal infection. The first patient in whom Protonsil was shown to be effective was an infant with staphylococcal sepsis who was treated in 1933. From that point on, a variety of sulfonamides was described in rapid succession; articles on sulfanilamide, sulfapyridine, sulfathiazole, and sulfamethylthiazole flooded the literature. The accompanying article,1 although not the first clinical description of the sulfonamide drugs, was the most complete dealing with sulfadiazine, an agent that is still with us almost 45 years and many thousands of patients later.

Content of the Accompanying Article  In brief, Finland and colleagues describe the animal data available for sulfadiazine and compare it with sulfapyridine and sulfathiazole in experimental infections. They