Arsenic, of all the drugs used in the treatment of pemphigus, has withstood the test of time. Although it has been condemned by a few investigators as being of no benefit or even harmful, in the majority of cases of patients reported improved or cured arsenic is the medicament most frequently mentioned. It has been employed as solution of potassium arsenite U. S. P., sodium and iron cacodylate, old arsphenamine, neoarsphenamine, tryparsamide and others. Just why arsenic should be beneficial in treatment of pemphigus is not known. It may be parasiticidal, for it is an interesting observation that many of the preparations credited with "cures" have been protozoal poisons, such as quinine, antimony andpotassium tartrate, Germanin and compounds such as tryparsamide and acetarsone. It seems more probable, however, that arsenic is merely a tonic acting on the nerves, gastrointestinal tract, reticuloendothelial cells, endocrine glands and skin.
LITTLE RP. CARBARSONE IN THE TREATMENT OF PEMPHIGUS: A PRELIMINARY REPORT. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1945;52(5):397–398. doi:10.1001/archderm.1945.01510290102020
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