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December 5, 1885


JAMA. 1885;V(23):631-632. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391220015005

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The history of creosote exemplifies the mutations to which therapeutics are liable, particularly as regards phthisis. Furthermore, the change of professional opinion from time to time, and the contradictory statements of physicians concerning the value of remedies in tuberculosis only illustrate the powerlessness and desperation felt by medical art when opposed by so dreaded a foe.

After the discovery of creosote by Feichenbach, in 1830, and before its therapeutic range became limited by practical experience, it was recommended for almost every form of internal and external disease. One of its many uses, suggested perhaps, by the fact of its derivation from wood-tar, was in the treatment of pulmonary complaints; and in consumption it soon won great distinction. After a time, however, the remedy fell into discredit in the treatment of phthisis, except in the form of an atomised solution for inhalation. Used in this way it long retained considerable popularity,

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