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Article
August 1943

POSSIBLE DANGER IN USE OF MERTHIOLATE OPHTHALMIC OINTMENT

Arch Ophthalmol. 1943;30(2):265-266. doi:10.1001/archopht.1943.00880200113017
Abstract

When the recent article on merthiolate dermatitis by Ellis and Robinson1 was presented before the Dermatological Section of the Baltimore City Medical Society, the possibility of a severe ocular complication resulting from the use of merthiolate ophthalmic ointment was discussed. At that time there were no reports of contact dermatitis or of positive results of patch tests with this ointment, nor had proof been presented that merthiolate could cause by contact an inflammation of the mucous membrane. It was the opinion of several discussers that the question of ocular complications should be dismissed until experimental proof of a deleterious effect could be obtained. If merthiolate ophthalmic ointment could cause in a merthiolate-sensitive patient a severe reaction on the conjunctiva and cornea comparable to the cutaneous injury reported by Ellis and Robinson, then the use of this ointment on the sensitive patient would be dangerous and perhaps produce keratitis and

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