Packet for drug Tryparsamide. Made by Pharmaceutical Specialties [May & Baker] Ltd., Dagenham, England, circa 1925, by arrangement with the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Kept in a mental health hospital pharmacy and administered to patients at a mental health hospital in Victoria, Australia. Tryparsamide (trade name) is sodium N-phenylglycineamide-p-arsonate, a compound containing 25% arsenic. Used in conjunction with malarial fever therapy to treat tertiary neuro-syphilis in patients diagnosed with General Paralysis of the Insane (GPI), having been originally developed for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis, or African sleeping sickness. GPI was found to be caused by the spirochaete bacterium Treponema pallidum and later treated effectively with penicillin.

Physical Description

Brown cardboard packet with blue printed text. Box is empty. Though a specific reference could not be found in the 'Standard for the uniform scheduling of drugs and poisons' (Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra 1999) it is suspected that, given the arsenic salt ingredient, this pharmaceutical product would be classified as S6 (Poison) or S7 (Dangerous Poison).

More Information