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March 31, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(13):949-954. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270030281001

After an experience of more than six years with salvarsan and neosalvarsan, pretty definite conclusions as to their value and also as to their limitations should be at hand.

The early hope of the originators of the drug, that by one massive dose the disease could be immediately eradicated, was soon abandoned. Salvarsan was put on the market for general use in January, 1911, but before this date I had had the opportunity of giving injections in many cases experimentally, in all of which relapses occurred, thus proving the inadequacy of a single injection. During the first year of its use, owing to the mistaken idea that a single dose was sufficient, there were many recurrences and some fatalities, the latter being largely due to the fact that some patients could not tolerate a full dose at the initial injection.

The early method of administering the drug was by subcutaneous