The use of arsphenamin in the treatment of syphilis is one of the few specific methods of chemotherapy, and it will hardly be amiss to say that it is the only one which has been employed with uniform success in a definitely characterized infection. The fundamental difference between the action of the arsphenamin group and that of any other chemotherapeutic agent lies in the fact that the drug to be effective does not act directly on the excitants of disease.
Ehrlich assumed and repeatedly gave expression to his belief that either arsphenamin therapy produces a sterilisatio magna or else it at least opens the road step by step to a sterilisatio fere absoluta. Experience has, since the introduction of arsphenamin to our therapeutic realm, contradicted this assumption. The varying effect of identical preparations on the identical excitant in various stages of the disease is ample proof that factors other than
ROSEN I, MÜLLER EF, MYERS CN. STUDIES ON THE COMPLEX NITRITOID CRISIS AFTER THE INTRAVENOUS ADMINISTRATION OF ARSENICALS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1924;10(3):316–331. doi:10.1001/archderm.1924.02360270045009
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