8 Facts About Drugs That Question the Way We Cure Diseases
Even ancient philosophers claimed that some medications were more dangerous than diseases and we don’t disagree with them. But mistakes, funny situations, and interesting incidents are inevitable when it comes to inventions.
Bright Side gathered 8 amazing pharmaceutical facts that sound really weird nowadays. Well, now we know what Obecalp is and why it’s so important to read instruction manuals.
8. Petrolatum is a cleaning agent and a laxative.
Vaseline was invented by Robert Augustus Chesebrough. The primary use of petrolatum, or petroleum jelly, was as a laxative or a cleaning agent. Later, Chesebrough concluded that Vaseline had dealt well with various diseases and recommended eating one tbsp of petrolatum each morning. By the way, the chemist followed his own tips and lived to be 96.
7. People treated eczema and hair loss with ketchup.
From 1820–1830 ketchup was sold as baldness, eczema, and stomachache medicine in the USA. In fact, lycopene, a carotenoid pigment found in tomatoes is really useful for our health and the level of this pigment in ketchup is higher than in tomatoes. But today we don’t use ketchup as a medication and each drugstore sells lycopene.
6. Obecalp is a medication for children.
If children experience fatigue, some doctors prescribe Obecalp. The active component is sugar and its unusual effect is hidden in its name: it’s placebo spelled backward.
This medication was invented by Australian doctor Michael Axtens. At first, it was used to “cure” pseudo-sick people in California.
5. Russia had a placebo too.
In the past, Baron Vrevsky’s drops were used to treat anxiety. Inventors claimed that it had been a placebo against all diseases. Later, doctors studied these drops and found out that they were from the water of the Neva river.
4. Brilliant Green remedy can be found only in former Soviet countries.
Brilliant Green, also called zelenka, is used as a remedy only in the countries of the former Soviet Union. People treat cuts and abrasions with this fluid because of its antiseptic properties.
Additionally, you won’t probably find corvalol or validolum outside of ex-USSR states.
3. Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper are from a drugstore too.
Pharmacist John Pemberton fought in the Civil War and at the end of the war he decided he wanted to create something that would cure his anxiety and make him successful. Soda fountains in pharmacies were becoming popular so he invented a beverage that was mixed with soda. This mixture became so popular that drugstores started to sell it as a useful remedy and this was how Coca-Cola was born.
Another specialist, Charles Alderton, invented Dr. Pepper in 1885. He liked the way the drug store smelled, with all of the fruit syrup flavor smells mixing together and this was the inspiration for the drink we all know nowadays.
2. Funny drug side effects
- A man sued the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline claiming the drug he took to treat his Parkinson’s symptoms turned him into a gambling addict.
Mefloquine that treats malaria can cause hallucinations and even an urge to commit suicide.
- Sleep driving and other complex behaviors can occur after zolpidem ingestion.
- People on clomipramine can experience orgasms while yawning.
1. Interesting facts about birth control pills
In the early 1930s, the Austrian physician Ludwig Haberlandt suggested hormonal contraception. The primary source of hormones were animals. Later, scientists started to produce and synthesize the hormone called progesterone artificially.
By the way, one pill contained as many hormones as a whole modern pack contains now. It was undoubtedly very stressful for the endocrine system of women.
Bonus: a funny situation in a king’s life
An incident that happened to King Mithridates VI of Pontus proves that people were really afraid to be poisoned in the past. To become immune to poison, he took toxic substances with his food every day.
When Mithridates decided to commit suicide by poison, his attempt failed. It’s actually unknown whether this story is true or not, but one’s immunity to poisons is called mithridatism in toxicology.
Which fact surprises you the most? If you could invent a remedy, which disease would it cure? Share with us in the comments.