ARSOTONIN, packaging of a medicine from “Kaštel” factory in which 2 out of 10 ampoules with medicine are preserved,
Zagreb, 1930s, HMMF-167
label with inscription, on the box: 10 sterilnih ampula po 1,1 ccm. / ARSOTONIN / 1 ccm sadrži 0.05 methyldinatriumarsenata u izotoničkoj otopini. / Samo na liječnički propis. / “KAŠTEL” / tvornica kemijsko-farmaceutskih proizvoda d. d. / ZAGREB
„Arsotonin injekcije i tablete / Organski vezani arsen / Odlično sredstvo za jačanje kod slabokrvnih i u rekonvalescenciji / Dnevno injekcije (kroz 10-20 dana) ili 3 x 1-3 tablete / 10 ampula 30.-, 75 tableta 24.- dinara“ (text from Diariuma medici [Medical journal], publisher: „Kaštel“, Zagreb, 1939.)
Arsenic (lat. arsenicum < gr. ἀρσενıϰόν: auripigment), Arsenic is a chemical element with symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has various allotropes, but only the gray form, which has a metallic appearance, is important to industry.
During the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, a number of arsenic compounds were used as medicines, including arsphenamine (by Paul Ehrlich) and arsenic trioxide (by Thomas Fowler). Arsphenamine, as well as neosalvarsan, was indicated for syphilis and trypanosomiasis, but has been superseded by modern antibiotics.
Arsenic trioxide has been used in a variety of ways over the past 500 years, most commonly in the treatment of cancer, but in medications as diverse as Fowler’s solution in psoriasis. The US Food and Drug Administration in the year 2000 approved this compound for the treatment of patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia that is resistant to all-trans retinoic acid.
Recently, researchers have been locating tumors using arsenic-74 (a positron emitter). This isotope produces clearer PET scan images than the previous radioactive agent, iodine-124, because the body tends to transport iodine to the thyroid gland producing signal noise.
In subtoxic doses, soluble arsenic compounds act as stimulants, and were once popular in small doses as medicine by people in the mid-18th to 19th centuries.