Drugs: The Dangers of Chloromycetin

There is no doubt that chloramphenicol, better known by Parke, Davis & Co.'s trade name of Chloromycetin, is a potent and valuable antibiotic. That has been clear since 1947, when it was found to kill a wider variety of bacteria than penicillin or other early antibiotics. Better yet, it was one of the first drugs to show activity against some odd ball microbes called rickettsiae. But Chloromycetin soon showed another side of its character: a few patients developed a severe anemia after taking it, and by 1952 it was clear that some...