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December 1958

Mercurial Diuretics: Their Mechanism of Action and Application

Author Affiliations

Columbia, Mo.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(6):1016-1023. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260230162020

The origins and development of mercurial diuretic therapy have been reviewed extensively in recent years.1-5 The mercurial diuretics have been subjected to much clinical testing and investigation over the past 35 years and have been shown to be potent, dependable, and of relatively low intrinsic toxicity. The addition of theophylline resulted in reduced local reaction at the site of injection and an increase in the diuretic potency.6 Additional reduction of cardiovascular toxicity was achieved by substituting a thiol group to produce a mercaptomercurial.7-9 A number of modifications in the molecule have resulted in new names, but there is no appreciable difference in the diuretic potency of the various injectable preparations of organomercurials currently available. Since the pharmacodynamics of the organomercurials is the same for all preparations, the following brief review of mechanism of action applies to all the mercurial diuretics, both oral and parenteral.

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