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May 1962

Therapeia, Panacea and the Pharmacopeia

Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;67(5):545. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960020545001

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The flood of antibiotics has brought us a vast armamentarium of therapeutic agents. In view of their spectacular success in the field of bacterial infections, it is easy to understand why the glories of empirical treatment have eclipsed if not obviated the need for determining specific causes of disease. If a corneal ulcer does not respond to a combination of antibiotics (they are seldom given singly) it must clearly be due to either a fungus or a virus! If topical steroids have been used as well, the possibility arises of iatrogenic provocation. No vast experience in infectious disease is needed to have seen a pyocyaneus ulcer treated with penicillin, an atypical herpes simplex on topical steroids, or a mycotic ulcer flourishing under a combination of steroids and broad-spectrum antibiotics. Nor can the fault be laid at the door of the pharmaceutical houses for supplying shotgun preparations in response to popular

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