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January 22, 1887


JAMA. 1887;VIII(4):89-90. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391290005002

Every day sees a new remedy come to the front as a candidate for favor in the medical world. Some of them prove to be of value, and take their proper place in the armamentarium of the skilful, thoughtful physician. I desire to call attention to two new hypnotics which are awakening interest among neurologists more particularly, and which have been used in the State Lunatic Asylum.

The first is paraldehyde, a methylic ether, an exceedingly volatile liquid, somewhat resembling the compound spirit of ether of the Pharmacopœia; it has a pungent, penetrating odor, and its taste resembles that of sulphuric ether. In regard to its chemistry, method of preparation, etc., I quote from a letter of Prof. C. O. Curtman, of St. Louis, to Dr. P. O. Hooper:

"Paraldehyde is the condensation product of ordinary aldehyde and hydrochloric acid, hence (CH3, CHO)3. It is formed by adding to pure

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