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Article
April 1945

FATAL POISONING FROM POTASSIUM THIOCYANATE USED IN TREATMENT OF HYPERTENSION: REPORT OF A CASE AND REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1945;75(4):241-247. doi:10.1001/archinte.1945.00210280029004
Abstract

During the last decade a revived interest in the treatment of arterial hypertension with thiocyanates, with varying degrees of success, has occurred. The toxic properties of these drugs have been known since the pharmacologic observations of Claude Bernard in 1857.1 Their noxious effects have been well recognized in recent years.2 The Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association has not accepted them and even has advised against their use.3 Great progress in the field was made by Barker in 19362f with the introduction of the practice of determining serially the blood content of thiocyanates. It was thought that with this method toxic blood levels, and therefore deleterious side effects, could be avoided. A few instances of serious and even fatal intoxication, however, have been recently reported. We have, unfortunately, had 1 such instance out of a series of 73 cases in which potassium

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