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Good Health and Bad Medicine:
 First Aid - Part 1

 First Aid - Part 2

 First Aid - Part 3

 First Aid - Part 4

 First Aid - Part 5

 First Aid - Part 6

 Medicine Cabinet


 Pain - Part 2

 Liniments, Rubbing Salves And Plasters

 Read More Articles About: Good Health and Bad Medicine

Pain - Part 2

( Originally Published 1940 )


Headache is a symptom of a great many disorders, some of them serious. Occasional headaches due to temporary conditions such as fatigue or a "cold" may be relieved somewhat by aspirin—one or two tablets every three or four hours. A cold compress is generally soothing. Rest in bed will do wonders if the headache is due to nervous fatigue, as it so often is. If headaches tend to recur frequently, or if they are very severe, a physician should be consulted. Headache caused by temporary constipation can be relieved by an enema. Headache occurring after alcoholic indulgence or "too much food" is one of the main themes of Alka-Seltzer advertising. Any virtue that Alka-Seltzer has in the treatment of headache is due exclusively to the presence of ordinary aspirin in the tablet. Other headache remedies contain acetanilid (Bromo-Seltzer), acetphenetidin, or antipyrine, either alone or in combination. Avoid all of them. The danger of serious reactions or addiction from the proprietary headache powders or tablets is so great that the U. S. Food & Drug Administration has taken action against many manufacturers of these remedies.


Since lumbago is not a disease but a symptom of several different diseases, the folly and futility of treating it by proprietary liniments, drugs and supports is obvious. An infected tooth or prostate gland, a tumor of the womb, a disease of the ligaments or bones of the spine, bad posture and even bad foot-gear may be responsible for lumbago. Find the cause and treat it, is an axiom that is as true for lumbago as for any other pain or ache in the body.

Temporary backache may be caused by "colds," "grippe," and muscle strain. The most effective treatment is rest. Baking of the back for half an hour several times daily may be tried (hot-water bottle, electric pad or heat lamp) followed by gentle massage with a liniment (see page 36). One or two aspirin tablets every few hours may also help.

Chronic or repeated backaches may be caused by any one of twenty-five or more disorders.

According to the new Food and Drug law all preparations containing aminopyrine, acetanilid, acetphenetidin and antipyrine must have a statement on the label indicating the presence of these drugs. Consumers should read carefully the labels of all proprietary preparations and avoid those containing any of the above described drugs.


According to Dr. Roy R. Kracke, an authority on blood diseases, the following preparations contained aminopyrine:

Alphebin Am-Phen-Al Dymen

A marbital Ampydin Dvsco

Am.idol Amytal Compound Eu Med

Amido-Neonal Analgia Cardan

Amidonine Antabs Gynalgos

Amidophen Baramid Hexin

Amidopyrine Barb-A mid Ipral-Amidopyrine

(amino pyrine) Benzedo Compound Kalms

Amidos Cibalgine Lumodrin

Amidotal Compound Cinchopyrine Midol

Amifeine Compral Mylin

Aminol Cronal Neonal Compound

Neurodyne Phenamidal Pyraminal

Nod Phen-Amidol Seequit

Optalidon Phenopyrine Yeast-Vite

Peralga Pyramidon


(Including those advertised for colds and neuralgia)

A.D.S. Cold and Grippe Dr. Mile's Nervine

Tablets Grove's Laxative Bromo-

BC Quinine

Beck's Little Wonder Powders Koch's Cold and Grippe Tablets

Bromo-Seltzer Migro Powder

Cascara Cold Breakers Nuran Tablets

Cephalgine Stanback

Curry's Headache Powders Stark's Headache Powders

Dr. Fellows' Headache Powders


Analgia Kohler's Antidote

Anacin Kurb

Eserin Yum for Headache


Many preparations for pain and colds used to contain quinine without stating so on the label. The new Food and Drug law now requires that the presence of quinine be stated on the label.

Patent medicine manufacturers may, of course, change the formula of their products at will, and without notice. It is possible that some of those now producing aminopyrine, acetanilid and other potentially dangerous remedies will substitute another drug in view of the passage of the new Food and Drug Act. This does not mean, however, that a drug which is safe for self-medication will necessarily be substituted.

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