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Elixir sulfanilamide – Wikipedia

Elixir sulfanilamide – Wikipedia

2022-09-28 19:16:11

Antibiotic preparation liable for a mass poisoning in 1937

Bottles of elixir sulfanilamide

Elixir sulfanilamide was an improperly ready sulfonamide antibiotic that brought on mass poisoning in america in 1937. It’s believed to have killed greater than 100 folks. The general public outcry brought on by this incident and different related disasters led to the passing of the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which considerably elevated the Food and Drug Administration‘s powers to manage medicine.[1][2]

Historical past[edit]

Other than the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and the Harrison Act of 1914 banning the sale of some narcotic medicine, there was no federal regulatory management in america of America for medicine till Congress enacted the 1938 Meals, Drug, and Beauty Act in response to the elixir sulfanilamide poisonings.

In 1937, S. E. Massengill Company, a pharmaceutical producer, created an oral preparation of sulfanilamide utilizing diethylene glycol (DEG) because the solvent or excipient, and referred to as the preparation “Elixir Sulfanilamide”.[3] DEG is toxic to people and different mammals, however Harold Watkins, the corporate’s chief pharmacist and chemist, was not conscious of this. (Though the primary case of a fatality from the associated ethylene glycol occurred in 1930 and research had been revealed in medical journals stating DEG may trigger kidney harm or failure, its toxicity was not extensively identified previous to the incident.)[1][4] Watkins merely blended raspberry flavoring into the powdered drug after which dissolved the combination in DEG. Animal testing was not required by regulation, and Massengill carried out none; there have been no laws on the time requiring premarket security testing of medicine.

The corporate began promoting and distributing the treatment in September 1937. By October 11, the American Medical Association acquired a report of a number of deaths brought on by the treatment. The Food and Drug Administration was notified, and an intensive search was carried out to get better the distributed medication.[5] Frances Oldham Kelsey assisted on a analysis mission that verified that the DEG solvent was liable for the deadly adverse effects. No less than 100 deaths have been blamed on the treatment.

The proprietor of the corporate, when pressed to confess some measure of culpability, infamously answered, “Now we have been supplying a legit skilled demand and never as soon as may have foreseen the unlooked-for outcomes. I don’t really feel that there was any duty on our half.”[6] Watkins, the chemist, dedicated suicide whereas awaiting trial.[6]

See Also

A girl wrote to U.S. President Roosevelt and described the loss of life of her daughter:
“The primary time I ever had event to name in a health care provider for [Joan] and she or he was given Elixir of Sulfanilamide. All that’s left to us is the caring for her little grave. Even the reminiscence of her is blended with sorrow for we will see her little physique tossing back and forth and listen to that little voice screaming with ache and it appears as if it will drive me insane. … It’s my plea that you’ll take steps to forestall such gross sales of medicine that may take little lives and depart such struggling behind and such a bleak outlook on the long run as I’ve tonight.”[1]

Congress responded to public outrage by passing the 1938 Meals, Drug, and Beauty Act, which required corporations to carry out animal security exams on their proposed new medicine and submit the information to the FDA earlier than being allowed to market their merchandise. The Massengill Firm paid a minimal superb beneath provisions of the 1906 Pure Meals and Medicine Act, which prohibited labeling the preparation an “elixir” if it contained no ethanol.

See additionally[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ballentine, Carol (June 1981). “Sulfanilamide Disaster” (PDF). FDA Client Journal.
  2. ^ “Medicine: Post-Mortem”. Time. December 20, 1937. Retrieved 2009-07-19. Then, two months in the past, fatality knocked at its door. A brand new combination of a brand new drug (sulfanilamide) with a brand new solvent (diethylene glycol), which Dr. Massengill’s salesmen bought as Elixir Sulfanilamide-Massengill, was found to be killing its customers
  3. ^ “Wallace Reveals How Federal Agents Traced Elixir to Halt Fatalities”. The New York Times. November 26, 1937. Retrieved 2009-07-20. A graphic story of a race in opposition to loss of life from “elixir sulfanilamide,” carried on by the Meals and Drug Administration in fifteen States from Virginia to California, a race not gained till ninety-three individuals had died after taking the deadly dose, was instructed by Secretary Wallace in the present day in a report responding to Senate and Home resolutions.
  4. ^ Shaw, Leslie M. (2001). The clinical toxicology laboratory: contemporary practice of poisoning evaluation. Washington, DC: AACC Press. ISBN 1-890883-53-0.
  5. ^ Carpenter, Daniel (2010). Repute and Energy: Organizational Picture and Pharmaceutical Regulation on the FDA. Princeton: Princeton College Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14180-0.
  6. ^ a b Mihm, Stephen (2007-08-26). “A tragic lesson”. The Boston Globe.

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