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Alexander Sterling, M.D.
JAMA. 1923;80(23):1712-1713. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640500054030.
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To the Editor:  —Is idiosyncrasy the same as anaphylaxis? This question is asked often in consultation or by students in the lecture room. Can we interchange these words, using one when we mean the other whether we speak of food, drugs, animal emanations or hypersensitiveness in general? Richet writes:Since the effect of a given poison on different individuals cannot be the same, the real difference between individual susceptibility and true anaphylaxis cannot be strictly defined, but there are certain instances of exceptionally marked individual susceptibility or a state of increased sensitivity, which we have no right, as yet, to include in the term of anaphylaxis. Indeed, it is possible by physiologic methods to modify the reaction of an animal in such a way that immediately after the injection of a poison it reacts like an anaphylactized animal.Dr. Robert A. Cooke writes (The Journal, Sept. 6, 1919, p. 759):


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