Abstract The use of arsphenamin in the treatment of syphilis is one of the few specific methods of chemotherapy, and it will hardly be amiss to say that it is the only one which has been employed with uniform success in a definitely characterized infection. The fundamental difference between the action of the arsphenamin group and that of any other chemotherapeutic agent lies in the fact that the drug to be effective does not act directly on the excitants of disease. Ehrlich assumed and repeatedly gave expression to his belief that either arsphenamin therapy produces a sterilisatio magna or else it at least opens the road step by step to a sterilisatio fere absoluta. Experience has, since the introduction of arsphenamin to our therapeutic realm, contradicted this assumption. The varying effect of identical preparations on the identical excitant in various stages of the disease is ample proof that factors other than References 1. In the routine of our clinical work, we see all types of patients suffering from syphilis in the various stages of the disease, from patients with a primary lesion to those with marked cardiovascular and neurologic involvement, so that care and judgment in outlining the type of treatment for each of these patients is important. The selection of the drug for intravenous use and the dose are also carefully considered. When a patient develops symptoms of the so-called nitritoid type during a course of treatment, a change is made to one of the other drugs of the arsphenamin group. In many instances, this change will enable the patient to continue treatment without any by-effects.
Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 1, 1924
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