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We have been induced to ask this question by the frequent appearance of articles in medical journals, and of reported cases in papers read before medical societies, in which very large doses of known active medicinal agents have been given in certain acute general diseases without inducing any correspondingly exaggerated effects. And this apparent tolerance of the remedy has generally been mentioned as one of the evidences that it was specially indicated in the treatment of the disease. The most recent illustrations of this have been in reference to the use of alcohol in the form of whiskey or brandy, and of mercurials in the treatment of diphtheria. To the extravagant use of the latter, particularly in the form of calomel, we had occasion to allude in these columns; few months since. Since that time, however, there has appeared in this journal the paper on diphtheria read in the Section
Is ability to tolerate large doses of a medicine in any given disease without manifesting its ordinary effects, evidence that such medicine is of remedial value in the treatment of the disease? JAMA. 1885;IV(6):155–156. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390810015003
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