CONTAGION OF PUERPERAL PYÆMIA

J.Matthews Duncan
1875 The Lancet  
In some constitutions the iodide of potassium frequently taken, even in medicinal doses, proves speedily injurious. It produces a diseased condition, to which the name of " iodism " has been given. In one instance, three grains, taken three times a day, caused, after the fourth dose (twelve grains), shivering, headache, thirst, quick and full pulse, with vomiting and purging. In another case a dose of five grains caused difficulty of breathing, discharge from the eYl--s and nostrils, inflamed
more » ... ostrils, inflamed conjunctiva, and most of the symptoms of a severe cold, for which these injurious effects of the iodide may be easily mistaken. In some cases the iodide has acted powerfully on the salivary organs, causing salivation. In others it has acted powerfully on the kidneys, and has produced a copious flow of urine. These facts show that it is not a medicine which can be safely taken in quantities of sixteen grains daily by a person who is not under medical observation. The sale of medicines of this kind should be strictly prohibited, unless the bottles containing them were supplied with a caution label setting forth their true composition. It is only reasonable that a person should know what he is purchasing; but the rule of English law applied to such cases is the same as in the buying of a horse, Caveat emptor. A man who has reached adult age is supposed to be able to exercise a sound judgment for himself, although it is notorious that there is no instance in which so much credulity is shown as in the purchase of medicines to which some great curative powers are attributed.
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)48276-1 fatcat:5fvjnky22nc3jo7n54q3b7jdb4