Arsenic

Medical treatment



Hippocrates
Hippocrates

The healing properties of arsenic are described 2000 years ago. It is believed that Hippocrates used arsenic to treat ulcers and related disorders.

Although it was considered at the same way as cancer untill 1820 (and still is sometimes synonymous for poison and cancer), arsenic is one of the oldest known chemical agents that is used to treat tumors. Only recently have started again researches for the treatment of leukemia with arsenic.

In 1905 Ehrlich was first synthesized organically bound arsenic and proved its importance in the medical treatment of sleeping sickness parasite and treatment of syphilis (this compound was called the "magic bullet").

Over 8,000 arsenic compounds were considered as a potential drug in 1937.

At various times they used different preparations of arsenic to treat digestive disorders, rheumatism, asthma, malaria, tuberculosis, diabetes and skin diseases. Over time, the treatment of these preparations proved to be unsuccessful and were replaced by other methods (except for the treatment of sleeping sickness until the mid-80s of the last century).