THE TETRACYCLINES were used quite extensively in clinical practice for almost a decade after their introduction before a significant number of specific references to the adverse effects of these drugs began to appear in the medical literature. This delay in critical reappraisal of a drug or a group of drugs after wide acceptance and usage is unfortunately an experience not unique to the tetracyclines. New drugs for clinical use are being introduced at a spectacular rate and in many instances adequate well-controlled clinical trials have not been carried out to determine and document their longterm side effects before releasing them for general use. It is essential that each new drug be used with utmost caution and in a discriminate manner until adequate clinical and laboratory experience has shown that the drug has real therapeutic usefulness and is free from significant untoward side effects.
The following is a review of our current