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December 1980

Calcium Salts for the Treatment of Chills

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(12):1675. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330230121032

To the Editor.  —While reading the study of Burks et al1 showing that meperidine could stop the chills and fever caused by amphotericin B, I was reminded of a report by Beeson and Hoagland2 published 40 years ago on the use of calcium chloride to stop chills. They slowly administered 10 mL of a 10% calcium chloride solution intravenously during 35 chills, with cessation of the chills within 15 s in 22 instances (63%). Although the chills ceased, fever was not prevented. The causes of the chills were different than those met today—antipneumococcic serum therapy of pneumococcal pneumonia, malaria treatment for neurosyphilis, intravenous (IV) injections of typhoid vaccine for arthritis, and reactions to blood transfusion. Adverse effects from the IV use of calcium salts include tissue necrosis from extravasation, nausea, and, in patients receiving digitalis, induction of digitalis intoxication.It seems intravenously administered calcium salts would be worth

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