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May 17, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(20):1308-1309. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480200022006

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The physician probably meets with no more unexpected surprises in ordinary practice than those which come from the renewal of his prescriptions. Some combination of drugs that he meant should meet a temporary indication and against whose prolonged use—if such a possibility had occurred to him—he would himself have been the first to protest, he finds at times has been used for long periods, perhaps even months. Fortunately, the human system, as a rule, soon accommodates itself to most ordinary drugs and accomplishes its work in spite of the disturbing element.

Occasionally a prescribed remedy becomes a sort of fetish with the patient, who is sure that he, or more often she, would not be well without it. Perhaps too. friends are persuaded to use the remedy for indications utterly foreign to the conditions for which the original prescriber wrote.

If the renewal of prescriptions were always as harmless in

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