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May 3, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(18):1135-1137. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480180013001c

Much that we accept as settled fact in medicine has been received from so-called authorities, and we daily put up with the annoyances and inconveniences of imperfect means or instruments for lack of the time or disposition to seek out better. Since the time of Donders, atropin has been the chief reliance of ophthalmologists as a cycloplegic, but its obvious failure as an ideal substance for this use has led many investigators to look afield for a better.

As a result we now have atropin, homatropin, scopolamin, duboisin, hyoscyamin and hyoscin contending for the chief place, while cocain, ephedrin, euphthalmin, etc., divide the honors as mydriatics.

An ideal cycloplegic should possess the following characteristics: 1. First of all, it must be safe. 2. It must be sure. 3. Its effects must be of short duration. I am assuming that we are using the drug for refraction purposes only. 4. It