Since the introduction of the hypodermic needle by Alexander Wood of Edinburgh in 1853, a constant and growing tendency to rely more and more on the subcutaneous method of administering drugs has existed because of the fact that this method insures more complete and more rapid absorption and more accurate dosage.
Medicine stands in need of a subcutaneous purgative. The physician and surgeon alike have recognized its necessity. Pharmacologists and experimental therapeutists have repeatedly attempted to supply this demand, turning successively to the salines, to the vegetable purgatives, and to the alkaloids. But still the need is felt, for no preparation suggested has as yet fulfilled the numerous requirements demanded of it. Such a body must act on the intestinal tract and on the intestinal tract only without any untoward effect on any other organ or system, must act with certainty, must be readily soluble, preferably in water, in order
ROWNTREE LG. SUBCUTANEOUS PURGATIVES: A CLINICAL STUDY ON PHENOLTETRACHLORPHTHALEIN. JAMA. 1910;LIV(5):344–348. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.92550310001001b
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