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April 1961

Premature Pharmacology

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(4):411-412. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020050001002

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In this issue we present one more example of the harm which may befall newborn and premature infants from the administration of a drug known to be safe for older subjects. The list of agents harmful to these small human beings is growing longer. We have become aware of the dangers of oxygen, sulfisoxazole, sulfadiazine, chloramphenicol, and vitamin K. Sutherland and Keller in this issue add novobiocin to the list.

The dangers associated with each of these substances were found by chance, after death, blindness, or kernicterus had followed their widespread use. Drug houses and research laboratories have always tested new drugs, but usually only on animals and adult humans. It is finally apparent that such testing must be extended to premature and full-term infants and to newborn animals. A start has been made in this direction by Kent and his co-workers (this Journal, September, 1960) and by Michael and

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