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November 2, 1963


JAMA. 1963;186(5):511. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710050085019

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Prior to the introduction of bunamiodyl sodium, the association of acute renal failure with oral cholecystography was a rare occurrence. This drug was first introduced in 1959 and soon had widespread use. Although reports associating it with acute renal failure appeared in 1961 and 1962, until recently it was generally held that the drug was safe and could be used in two consecutive doses of 4.5 gm each. An opinion was apparently derived from animal studies, which in retrospect appear inadequate, and from the fact that other oral cholecystographic agents of similar chemical derivation have proven themselves safe. That this was a false assumption has become amply evident. Reported cases of acute renal failure associated with bunamiodyl sodium number 25, 12 of them fatal.

Although this complication has generally been associated with multiple doses, three of 17 reported cases, including one fatality, occurred following a single administration of the currently

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