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November 1956

Blood Disorders Caused by Drug Sensitivity

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City

From the Department of Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(5):559-566. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250290019004

The Problem  In 1922, Werner Schultz1 described a syndrome which ultimately came to be known as agranulocytosis. At first but a few cases were recognized, but between 1929 and 1934 a large number were reported. About this time (1931) Kracke2 noted that the sudden appearance and growing number of cases of agranulocytosis corresponded with the introduction of certain coal-tar derivatives as therapeutic agents. The disorder was especially common in the countries in which such drugs were in great use, and those affected were chiefly women of good economic status as well as nurses and other medical workers to whom these drugs were easily accessible. Shortly afterward several reports appeared* which incriminated aminopyrine (Pyramidon) as the offending drug. After 1934 the number of cases of agranulocytosis began to decrease. This coincided with the reduced sales of aminopyrine following reports of its injurious effects.5Later, however, as new drugs