Packet for drug Evarsan, trade name for neoarsphenamine manufactured at the Evans Biological Institute in England, 1948. Stocked in the pharmacy of a mental health hospital in Victoria. Neoarsphenamine was used in the treatment of syphilis and especially neurosyphilis. Tertiary syphilis was a common cause for mental health conditions. Also known as Neosalvarsan, it superseded Salvarsan due to its lower toxicity. Both arsenicals still carried significant risk of side-effects and were themselves replaced by penicillin in the 1940s. Prior to the use of arsphenamine and neoarsphenamine, syphilis was treated with the malarial fever cure developed by Austrian psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg.

Physical Description

Cardboard packaging for vial of Evarsan. Packet is cardboard with black printed text.


Example of pharmaceuticals used in a psychiatric hospital in Victoria, Australia.

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