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JAMA. 1926;87(13):1016-1020. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02680130030008.
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Merbaphen (novasurol), a double salt of sodium oxymercurichlorphenyl oxyacetate with diethylbarbituric acid, was introduced in Germany nearly a decade ago for the treatment of syphilis.1 It contains approximately 34 per cent of mercury, but is administered in the form of a 10 per cent solution by intramuscular or intravenous injection. Its diuretic value was first pointed out by Saxl and Heilig,2 and in the five years since the appearance of their paper the drug has been employed chiefly as a diuretic rather than as an antisyphilitic. Their report was soon followed by many others,3 all of them emphasizing the extraordinary diuresis which often followed the administration of merbaphen, and many of them asserting that it is superior to all other diuretics, as indicated by its effects in patients who had failed to respond to the drugs customarily used. Burwinkel alone of those quoted voices a more conservative


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