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July 26, 1884

Excessive Medication.

JAMA. 1884;III(4):101-102. doi:10.1001/jama.1884.02390530017005

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—In the Journal for June 21, 1884, we alluded to the strong tendency recently manifested by members of the profession to give large doses, frequently repeated, of active medicines as germicides, prompted by the prevalent germ theories concerning the specific causes of disease. Allusion was made more directly to the use of mercurial preparations in the treatment of diphtheria. Our remarks elicited from Dr. Jno. S. Coleman, of Augusta, Ga., a brief letter stating that he had given to a little girl, aged three years, suffering from a severe attack of diphtheria, 84 doses of the bichloride of mercury, of one-eighth of a grain each, in nine days. The medicine produced neither purging nor ptyalism nor any other unpleasant effects; but the patient recovered and is now in good health. Another child in the same family had been attacked with malignant diphtheria a few days earlier, and died without having

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