The therapeutic possibilities of bismuth preparations by oral administration in the treatment of syphilis have not received the attention they deserve. By this route of administration I have found that water-soluble potassium bismuth tartrate-D. R. L. is less toxic than the mercurial compounds generally employed and much more spirocheticidal.
It is true, however, that oral medication in the treatment of syphilis has gradually fallen into disrepute during the past twenty years because it fosters the under-treatment of the disease, but, as Schamberg and Wright1 stated in relation to the oral administration of mercury: "The time has not yet arrived when the method of treating syphilis by ingestion can be placed upon the shelf of discarded therapeutic methods and thus be allowed to lapse into total oblivion." They quote Pusey (1922) that:
under ordinary methods of treatment with mercury by the mouth where treatment was carried out persistently, recurrences, except
KOLMER JA. ORAL ADMINISTRATION OF POTASSIUM BISMUTH TARTRATE IN TREATMENT OF SYPHILIS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1935;31(1):9–14. doi:10.1001/archderm.1935.01460190012002
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