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July 11, 1885


JAMA. 1885;V(2):53. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.04470010025013

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Dear Sir:—Having seen recently, in the different medical journals, numerous statements of the unpleasant effects of the continued use of cocaine in eyes, subsequent to operations, producing turbidity of the cornea, I have thought that a brief statement of my own experience with its effects during the last six months, not only upon my patients, but upon myself, might be of interest, as I think it accounts for this unpleasant effect of the drug.

The anæsthetic influence of cocaine, especially upon mucous membrane, is conceded, but in addition to its anæsthetic influence, it has a remarkable influence upon the vaso-motor nerves, exciting contraction of the organic muscular fibres of the arterioles. This influence is also known, but I think it is overlooked in many of these cases that are reported unpleasantly. This vaso-motor influence is especially noticeable, when cocaine is applied to hyperæmic, or old chronic inflammatory membranes. Within

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