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October 5, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(14):1236-1240. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270100006003

The use of salvarsan has proved of interest, not only from the standpoint of its curative powers, but also on account of its toxic effects. It is the object of this communication to explain the nature of one of these by effects.

Practically all drugs with a specfic action are poisons. As pointed out by Ehrlich, the the relation of curative power to toxicity determines the value of any preparation, and it is the object of the synthetic chemist to furnish a compound with high therapeutic properties as compared to toxic action. In salvarsan we have an active therapeutic agent, but certain toxic properties of the drug have not escaped notice. In fact, the study of the immediate toxic symptoms following intravenous injections has led to an improvement in technic which has rendered possible a much more thorough application of the drug. Wechselmann's discovery, that stale water or saline containing molds

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