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September 9, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVII(11):898-900. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260090120018

We frequently hear dissatisfaction expressed concerning the treatment of rheumatism with salicylates. This dissatisfaction seems to arise from several causes, either because every ache or pain or morbid process which occurs in the muscles or joints will not react promptly to salicylates, or because the patient cannot tolerate the enormous doses administered, or that even in spite of large doses up to tolerance, certain lesions such as the cardiac lesions of true rheumatism, are not controlled or prevented with facility equal to that by which the pain and swelling of the joints are controlled.

Let us consider for a moment the various treatments that were used before salicylates, in 1875 and 1876, were first used for rheumatism. After having tried the enormous bleedings for depletion, and terrific purgation by mercury, and the various antiphlogistic ideas for which veratrum viride, aconite and antimony were given in large doses, and having frankly