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Am J Hosp Pharm. 1976 Aug;33(8):807-10.

Drug therapy in colonial and revolutionary America.


Drug therapy during the Colonial and Revolutionary War period in America is discussed. Therapy in the 17th and 18th centuries remained largely symptomatic rather than curative. Treatment included such "depletion" measures as purging, sweating, bleeding, blistering and vomiting. Purgatives, emetics, opium, cinchona bark, camphor, potassium nitrate and mercury were among the most widely used drugs. European herbals, dispensatories and textbooks were used in the American colonies, and beginning in the early 18th century, British "patent medicines" were imported. During the Revolutionary War, the supply of drugs from Britain was cut off. The Continental Congress established laboratories and storehouses to serve the needs of the army.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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