Fowler's Solution and the Evolution of the Use of Arsenic in Modern Medicine

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While arsenic has been used medicinally and as a poison for thousands of years, Fowler's solution, an arsenic compound, has had a fascinating history in medicine during the past 200 years. The use of Fowler's solution was first described and published as a treatment for malaria and syphilis in the late 1700s. Many clinical applications for Fowler's solutions have been studied and utilized over the years, but toxicities have limited its utility. Even so, arsenic trioxide, chemically related to Fowler's solution, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating acute promyelocytic leukemia. The history of Fowler's solution, its applications and uses, and benefits and risks are discussed.

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... In the middle of the nineteenth century, As-based preparations were the first effective chemotherapy agents against syphilis, parasites, and leukemia (Au 2011). Since 1845, Fowler's solution, which contains 1% potassium arsenite (KAsO 2 ), has been used to treat leukemia, chronic bronchial asthma, malaria, and psoriasis (Ho and Lowenstein 2016). Until the late 1950s, its use continued in the US for the treatment of syphilis, malaria, and other diseases (Jolliffe 1993). ...
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Arsenic (As) is widely used in the modern industry, especially in the production of pesticides, herbicides, wood preservatives, and semiconductors. The sources of As such as contaminated water, air, soil, but also food, can cause serious human diseases. The complex mechanism of As toxicity in the human body is associated with the generation of free radicals and the induction of oxidative damage in the cell. One effective strategy in reducing the toxic effects of As is the usage of chelating agents, which provide the formation of inert chelator–metal complexes with their further excretion from the body. This review discusses different aspects of the use of metal chelators, alone or in combination, in the treatment of As poisoning. Consideration is given to the therapeutic effect of thiol chelators such as meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid, sodium 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonate, 2,3-dimercaptopropanol, penicillamine, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, and other recent agents against As toxicity. The review also considers the possible role of flavonoids, trace elements, and herbal drugs as promising natural chelating and detoxifying agents.
... In the past, it was also traditionally used in classical medicine as a therapeutic remedy. 56,57 However, at the present time it is forbidden in many countries because of its toxicity, which can induce death in the appropriate amount. Despite this, its use is becoming common in some alternative and homeopathic remedies, which is a potential source for intoxication. ...
Pigmented deposits can occur in the skin due to many and varied causes. Some of them are systemic conditions accompanied by involvement of internal organs. Others have serious prognostic implications, and early diagnosis can help in the correct and adequate management of the diseases. In addition, some of them are quite innocuous and the correct diagnosis avoids unnecessary treatments. In this article, we review the morphologic features of some of the most common and some of the less usual pigmented deposits in skin other than tattoos.
From the in vitro level, this paper explores the synergistic inhibitory effects and mechanisms of sodium arsenite (NaAsO2) and astragaloside IV(AS-IV) on HepG2 cells. By screening the optimal concentration of each drug, the authors tested the combined and separate effects of the two drugs on HepG2 cell proliferation, migration and invasion, cell cycle and apoptosis, as well as key genes and proteins of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway (PI3K, p-PI3K, AKT, p-AKT, mTOR, and p-mTOR). The CCK-8 test and Transwell tests show that: the separate and joint uses of NaAsO2 and AS-IV reduced the viability and migration of cells to different degrees (p all < 0.05). The scratch test results show that: although the migration rate in each treatment group declined, only NaAsO2 + AS-IV group witnessed a significant decline in migration rate (p < 0.05); the percentage of S phase cells and apoptosis rate both increased significantly in each treatment group (p all < 0.05). GNGT1, PI3K, p-PI3K, AKT, p-AKT, mTOR, and p-mTOR were expressed in each treatment group; Among them, GNGT1 mRNA expression increased in each treatment group, while the expressions of PI3K, p-PI3K, AKT, p-AKT, mTOR and p-mTOR gene proteins decreased in each treatment group; the indices changed most significantly in the NaAsO2 + AS-IV group (p all < 0.05). By the inhibitory effect of each drug on HepG2 cells, the treatment groups could be ranked as NaAsO2 + AS-IV group > NaAsO2 group > AS-IV group; GNGT1 siRNA group had an opposite trend with each treatment group. From in vitro level, the above results confirm that NaAsO2 and AS-IV can inhibit HepG2, and the two drugs has a synergistic effect. In addition, the two drugs could inhibit HepG2 cells through the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway; GNGT1 participates in the regulation of that signaling pathway.
Malignant growth is a significant weight of illness around the world. Internationally, one in every five men and one out of six women will become a potential victim of malignancy prior to the age of 75. The World Health Organization (WHO) is alerted of a worldwide “tsunami” of malignant growth and declared that by 2035, around 24 million individuals will have the ailment. Along with recognizable discoveries in therapy as well as in counteraction of cardiovascular illnesses, malignancy has or will turn into the main executioner in numerous places of the world. Malignant growth is a main source of monetary misfortune through sudden passing and inability around the world in view of the immense whole spent on treatment yet additionally in lost monetary and social action. Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is an aged medication that has lately been restored as a therapeutic option for different malignancies. All in all, arsenic is known to be a natural toxic substance fit for evoking an assortment of risky antagonistic impacts. In spite of its present reputation as a toxic substance, arsenic is viewed as one of the world’s most miracle medications, utilized for quite a long time as a therapy for diseases running from contamination to malignancy. Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is a successful forthright enemy of disease, has been utilized as a medication for more than 2000 years, and has been revived due to its exceptional therapeutic efficacy in case with APL (acute promyelocytic leukemia). Arsenic trioxide (ATO) alone or in blend with different therapeutics has been found to be effective against different cancer types of human origin. Notwithstanding, the specific systems by which ATO hinders malignancies are not completely clarified. In this chapter we will explain the likely mechanisms of action about the healing craft of ATO towards different human malignancies. These data will most likely urge clinical examiners to sanely join ATO with extra chemotherapeutic agents in treating patients determined to have malignant growth is a main sources of death on this planet.
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